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Leatherface's Problematic Cosmetics | Issues & Suggestions

jacobmjudgejacobmjudge Member Posts: 18
edited January 2021 in Feedback and Suggestions

As a frequent player of Dead By Daylight and a longtime fan of The Chainsaw Massacre franchise — we need to discuss the problematic nature of his "Smartface" Skin.

This issue isn't new, but as the fight for racial inequality continues and we work towards making a brighter future, in and out of the fog, there will always be those that try to hurt others and ruin the fun. As of late, trolls and racist individuals have taken to using the Smartface cosmetic (as well as using racist display names paired with overall unsportsmanlike performances in-game) as a form of trolling. It's gotten to the point where (in my personal experience) 1/5 Bubba matches have gone poorly due to racist behavior — it's beyond disgusting and disheartening.

I know Behaviour had only good intentions when implementing these skins years ago — and based on Bubba's lore from his source material, such cosmetics make sense at face value. But I believe, as a community, we've come to a point where we've outgrown these cosmetics, as they only hurt the community we care about so deeply. I want to see Bubba get the love he deserves as the horror icon he is, to be enjoyed by all who play as or against him — not to have his legacy tainted by racists of the modern era.

I'm not a Dev, not a Fog Whisperer, and (arguably most important) I'm not a lawyer or rights holder — but I think there needs to be a discussion on how to move forward from here, where everyone walks away happy. My personal idea was to give Bubba a new set of cosmetics to replace the "Face Series" (Leaderface, Smartface, Athleteface, & Survivorface). I don't want Bubba-Mains to be left without gear for their favorite character, so I think an alternative to these faces might be the best option (as opposed to losing everything).

An example of this could be doing aprons instead of faces. Perhaps Bubba has fashioned bloody aprons out of the default clothing for Meg, Dwight, Claudette, & Jake (potentially for other survivors should an agreement be possible for all parties involved). Another example could be Bubba adorning an artifact from each survivor (again, not their face) — Claudette's broken glasses, Dwight's broken glasses, Meg's braids, Jake's scarf, etc. I think our community is filled with incredibly bright and creative individuals, and I'd love to hear what others could think up down below.

Again, this all lies with the rights holders, an agreement of some sort would have to be made — However, I do think these alternative cosmetics would allow everyone to walk away with a better impression of Bubba & The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, Dead by Daylight and Behaviour, as well as the DBD & horror community as a whole. Of course, I'd love to hear what the community has to say.

As always, stay safe out in the fog.



  • RydogRydog Member Posts: 3,203
    edited January 2021


    Newsflash: Leatherface is not a real person, he was written by someone. When you have a character, and the character is acting in problematic ways, that can and should be an issue for the creator. This game isn't a cohesive narrative that its creator is using to make some sort of considered commentary or statement on something, it is a video game that lets the player wear what amounts to blackface.

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    The creation of black face in itself was to mock black people (I understand it now has other social issues and limitations, but talking in context)

    Leatherface wearing a person of colour's skin is not blackface in any effect.

    Now, what is black face is players wearing the person of colour's skin (Claudette's in this case) to create a racist commentary. This is, in context, 100% black face!

    Also, it 100% is in character for Leatherface to wear her skin, he's severely mentally ill/disabled (I can never remember sorry), he wouldn't even be able to comprehend the idea of racism, so it's not in character for the player to be racist wearing Claudette's skin!

    Now, in effect there is no way to tackle this short of partnering with valve to target people with rude and or racist display names, and putting filters in their chat to detect slurs and offensive phrases (which they should already have), which would be automatically reported, additionally any reports with words like racist (and in context, homophobic, (and the like)) being sent to a direct bin for immediate, heavy concern, review!

    Now the OPs suggested change to make custom aprons and/or accessories can be determined absolutely, in two ways.

    Either as absolute genius (which is my view), as it prevents racist behaviour, whilst still creating the idea of the survivor mementos, this also lines up with his halloween housewife skin, as he takes her clothes as well and dresses in them (Though he does wear her face).


    Really ######### racist! Denying the wearing of a person of colour's skin (even if with others) to circumvent racism, in itself could be seen as racist, now idk why it would, but someone pointed out (to a lesser effect) taking her trophy head away (and not the others) would be racist. But in some views taking all of it away to avoid racism would also be racist!

    I don't know how BHVR could ever avoid this, so please forgive that (and my needless info dump).

    (Also this is quoted because this reply was originally targeted as a reply, but ended out as a general statement info dump, sorry quotee).

  • RepostRiposteRepostRiposte Member Posts: 793

    Idk I think its either removed the faces collection (which might be difficult because of license holders/people complaining they got scammed) or keep them all, an apron collection is not exactly in-character.

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    I disagree, it particularly lines up with his halloween skin as well, having stole the ladies clothes as well as her face. Perhaps instead of taking their face skin he could steal accessories like OP suggested

    This still counts to Leatherface's idea of taking mementos (I dont know if its particularly memento based or whether it's about stealing their skin, I'm not too educated on Bubba, as I'm not particularly into TCM as much as a select few other horror titles!), but also lines up with consistency (with the halloween skin).

  • RydogRydog Member Posts: 3,203

    Maybe -- and bear with me here -- they could remove this whole mechanic and these cosmetics.

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    In theory that's a definite yes, but in execution this would cause more problems than solutions! Outrage from fans and lack of LF cosmetics

    Additionally issues with the contract BHVR made with TCM right holders!

    Plus, like I said, and even further with removal of the cosmetic system, its inadvertent racism.

    (Also I couldn't tell if you were being passive aggressive towards me or not please clarify)

  • RydogRydog Member Posts: 3,203
    edited January 2021

    If they were a non-issue, we wouldn't routinely see threads like this.

  • jacobmjudgejacobmjudge Member Posts: 18

    There's definitely an issue... I see countless people with racist usernames, being toxic, all using the "smartface" skin. With a pattern like that over and over, it's hard to not see the problem... often times these people take the extra step, see the ttv in my username and come into my chat to continue the racist behavior.

    I block and report and do what I can, but it's prevalent enough to a lot of people in the community.

  • CrowmanCrowman Member Posts: 4,258

    It wasn't an issue when the first thread of this came up and it's still not an issue now. Honestly the only time I've seen people get upset over these comsetics is on the forums, but if you ever play as or play against a leatherface running Claduette's face no one is complaining about it in the endgame chat.

    As I said, people just need to stop trying to create a problem where it doesn't exist.

  • jacobmjudgejacobmjudge Member Posts: 18

    Thank you for understanding!

    That's why I recommended we take away the faces (all of them, not just Claudette's) and give the people who have earned those cosmetics the alternatives I listed. That way the rights holders don't feel jipped, people who have earned those cosmetics get something in exchange, and blackface is effectively removed out of DBD.

  • DeadeyeDeadeye Member Posts: 3,464
    edited January 2021

    That's the players. They could also play Claudette using racist profile names? Wanna remove every black character from the game to fix that? Actually removing the smartface would be kinda racist

    And again it is the players that hurt the community, not the cosmetics

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    I need to go so I cant type a while, but read my phat wall of text I put here and you'll see possible strategies to target and avoid behaviour such as this

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    Your idea was incredibly well thought out and articulated, how could I not understand!

  • DeadeyeDeadeye Member Posts: 3,464
    edited January 2021

    The thing is, you wouldn't avoid anything. Racists keep being racists, with or without the face. The only thing you can do is to report those ***** to get rid of them. Seriously, removing/replacing that wouldn't change anything. They probably would dodge lobies until they get a Claudette to facecamp and mori or whatever. And I am 90% sure "they" would regard it as success, if BHRV would remove smartface from the game. So hell no, keep everything as is and just and please report them

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    I never once said removing smartface alone, or the idea completely was a good idea!

    I don't know what it is with people not reading things properly on this forum but it happens an awful lot!!

    Please try again, better luck next time...

  • ChchchcherylChchchcheryl Member Posts: 1,531

    Also, if there is a filter to automatically forward these reports, then, its gonna die out eventually/a lot faster

    There will always be racists, yes, that isn't fine, but neither is not attempting to provide a thought out, effective solution, which is what you are doing...

  • DeadeyeDeadeye Member Posts: 3,464
    edited January 2021

    I'm not saying that it is bad to think about a solution. I'm saying that this solution is the totally wrong approach, as it serves them. You can say that my suggestion of "just report" is not enough, we can discuss about that. But my main point is what I wrote before: "they" would regard it as success and this is why I totally disagree with removing them

    Post edited by Deadeye on
  • QwQwQwQw Member Posts: 4,293

    I'm not trying to start a war here, but I don't see what the issue is. It's not an issue with character, Bubba takes everyone's face, it's an issue with the player. There's not a whole lot you can do if it's a player issue. Personally, with 1.5k hours of play time, I've never seen a "racist Bubba". If you do see one, just report them and move on, I don't think it's worth removing all of his faces, especially since some of them like Dwight's look pretty funny.

  • DeadeyeDeadeye Member Posts: 3,464

    I only got the second post, just noticed the first one. I read it completely and doesn't change what I said.

    It doesn't matter if you remove only claud's face or all of them. The point is that smartface is gone due to their *** behavior which will be a success for them. That's my point, and that should not happen. You should never give in, remove something from the game that isn't racist, just because someone tries to make it racist.

  • jacobmjudgejacobmjudge Member Posts: 18

    I totally agree! I think that removing just Claudette's and/or Jake's skins will be problematic, so I think an "all-or-nothing" approach is the best stand.

    By using these new cosmetic ideas (the aprons/momentos from survivors) it will effectively give the people who earned those awful skin tone cosmetics something else in exchange (which would probably need to be cleared with the rights-holder(s) first) while at the same time removing blackface & yellowface - disgusting, racist parodies of POCs that have existed long into US history and beyond - effectively giving the racists one less thing to use against players to taint the community.

    it won't stop the racists, but we shouldn't make harassment easy for them.

  • gibblywibblywoogibblywibblywoo Member Posts: 3,773
    edited January 2021

    I get where you're coming from but personally I'm against it. I've actually been hoping they'd add more faces over time. It works a lot better with the horror vibe and tone and I don't think anyone that isn't looking for outrage is actually offended by it. If they understand the character of Leatherface they really shouldn't be. And if they don't understand his character they probably don't play the game.

    Horror is supposed to make you uncomfortable, and racial politics are deeply embedded in horror. One of the most popular/succesful horror films of recent memory was entirely based around this (get out).

    On the same note I think you're complaining more about a player problem then a character problem.

    I recently returned to PC gaming and started playing TF2 again for the first time since I was an edgy teenager. And while there were always goofy/shock factor names players would use or tag their weapons with (Kurt cobain's microphone for shotguns, R Kellys spirit for Jarate were some I remember) nowadays there's a lot of outright racist names/descs on Demomans items or Nazi stuff on the Medic. But removing all these cosmetics/items and punishing the good players that enjoy them because a few bad eggs are going out of their way to make something offensive isn't the answer.

    These people exist in every community and if tame items like Leatherface's masks or the Medics German inspired items had to be removed because of people making something its not, we'd be seeing games being censored and reworked near constantly. Freedom of consequence it what keeps these people going. If this is a problem for you make a detailed report to the dev team.

    I consider myself a pretty progressive person, I'm very live and let live so I'm not gonna boycott the game or anything if the devs do decide this is a problem and its hurting too many people, but I would be disappointed at a loss of character, especially considering LF's mental state is "pure" in a bizarre way. There's no black or white for Leatherface "There's people who are family and strangers who must die to protect my family" is as far as his reasoning goes.

  • TicTacTicTac Member Posts: 2,169

    It doesnt make it easier for them. Its not even that big of a problem. Wearing the face of someone, is not a blackface. Some people use the similarity, but removing it would not make this people less racist. The intention of bubba and wearing faces has nothing to do with racism. So we shouldnt change something bc some people abuse it. There are lot of ways to show your racism. The people who do it are the problem. They need to be banned.

    People could play the pedophile Freddy and use usernames about it. This would be a bigger problem, but would we remove Freddy? No, we should remove the players who do it.

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