Where are the Black Women in Blizzard's Overwatch?

Blizzard’s online multiplayer, first-person shooter “Overwatch” is usually praised for its diverse cast of characters, but its latest addition to the roster has left some fans unhappy with the lack thereof.

Revealed at BlizzCon (Blizzard’s convention) this Friday, Ashe is the 29th hero added to the game. But some fans have been upset with the newest edition because she doesn’t add any diversity to its female cast of heroes.

Ashe is a white, 39-year-old cowgirl. Her backstory paints her as an entitled rich girl who runs off with her robot butler to form a cowboy gang. It sounds wild, but her backstory is pretty normal compared to others in the game (looking at you, Hammond).

The issue many fans are calling to Blizzard’s attention is Ashe’s skin color. Ashe is white and from the southern part of America. Which is fine, but when you line her up with the rest of the playable female characters, the lack of women of color (specifically black women) is extremely noticeable.

Out of the 14 female playable characters in the “Overwatch” roster, seven of them are white. Two are Egyptian, one is Chinese, one is Korean, one is Mexican, one is Indian, and one is a robot. There are ZERO black women that are playable characters. To add insult to injury, there is concept art of Ashe as a woman of color.

 

On the other hand, the male characters are extremely diverse. Out of 14 male characters, five are white. The other nine characters are either men of color, animals, or robots. Two are animals, one is African, two are Japanese, one is Brazilian, two are men of color from America, and one is a robot.

Listen -- I know “Overwatch” does diversity better than 90 percent of games out there. We actually have women of color and the heroes (for the most part) have different body shapes. But it’s still infuriating to see this disparity between the male and female heroes. And honestly, it makes me sad. “Overwatch” is the first first-person shooter I’ve ever played consistently. But they keep feeding us the same female character over and over. They all look the same, and I’m sick of it. Blizzard, give us a black woman. Give us cooler WOC heroes. We need more representation in your female heroes if you want to keep this game alive.