Players Who Hate Overwatch's Brigitte Are Harassing Her Voice Actress

For the past few months, the Overwatch community has been belaboring the same point: Many think the HP-heavy “GOATS” meta is tedious and sloggy. They’ve directed much of their resentment toward Brigitte, a hero considered to be a pillar of GOATS. Now some people are even going after her voice actor, who has nothing to do with any of that.

Matilda Smedius, the voice of Brigitte, did not decide Brigitte would be a support/tank hybrid, nor could she have foreseen the current meta - in which tanks and healers duke it out in methodical wars of attrition - that emerged shortly after Brigitte was added to the game last year. She provides a healthy dose of personality to the shield-wielding engineer, but that’s it. That, however, hasn’t stopped people from directing their fury about Brigitte toward Smedius online.

Last week, she tweeted out a message she’d received from somebody who decided she badly needed to know that Brigitte “destroyed Overwatch and the meta.”

“It just makes me so confused as to why someone would send me this kind of message,” Smedius tweeted at the time. "Like, FINE, if you feel like one character destroyed a whole game, you have the right to think so, but maybe give constructive criticism to the developers instead of harassing the voice actor."

This week, she posted a video in which she discussed the issue at length. She began by thanking fans for their support, noting that she’s “never gotten this many replies on a tweet before.”

And indeed, the majority of comments on that tweet and many others on Twitter and Instagram are overwhelmingly positive. But there are also angry outliers that confuse Smedius to no end, and even though she feels like they shouldn’t, they have an impact on her.

“I was just kind of fed up with those messages popping up all the time,” she said. “I don’t understand why someone would write that. I don’t understand why people hashtag #DeleteBrig on my pictures or call me fat. I don’t understand the point. The message I uploaded on Twitter wasn’t worse than anything else. I’ve seen worse. Way worse. But it caught my eye somehow. It’s just ridiculous to me.”

Inevitably, her tweet about the harassment made it to the Overwatch subreddit, where it was once again met with support, but also suspicion. Smedius said in the video that some people on Reddit called her “an attention whore, or [said] that I like to play the victim” in messages that appear to have since been deleted by moderators, though negative reactions to them remain.

Smedius, who is 21, has only been a public part of the Overwatch voice actor crew for a year. In the video’s most heart-wrenching section, she grappled with the guilt over her decision to pursue the opportunity.

“It hurts and it makes me sad. And I know, I should’ve known about this whole thing when I said yes to doing Brigitte. This is just what comes out of having a huge following. But it still hurts.”

She went on to emphasise that she’s still relatively new to this, and being disliked by people you’ve never met for something you didn’t do is profoundly weird. But Smedius doesn’t feel like she can express those feelings publicly without facing potential repercussions.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m a 21-year-old whose life got changed a year ago,” she said. “And I’m so happy for all the experiences I’ve gotten. But it’s been a lot. It’s been stressful ... I wish I could say I didn’t care about what people think. But I do. I hate feeling like I can’t be sad about that or that I just have to deal with it.”

“I’m still learning and trying to figure out this whole thing. But it’s hard to be lost when thousands of people - ten thousands of people - have their eyes on you.”


Comments

    What a bunch of dogc*nts. Imagine being so delusional that you think abusing a voice actress is going to change anything in a video game.

      This is why I stopped identifying as a "hardcore gamer". Because this right here is hardcore.
      And it's not fun. Gaming just isn't as sexy as it used to be. Sure DLC, rushed development and day one patches all contribute, but so does the super shit house, vocal-only-because-the-internet-is-a-thing, blood-gulching vaginas among us.
      It's just get further and further away from actually being a community and closer to being a hate group every year. If you're not good at construing the difference between the voice of a character and their developers, maybe shut your stupid fucking mouth and go back to interacting with your pillow instead of internet people.

    Before you abuse VAs, just remember that these people generally aren't moguls laughing at plebs from their golden towers built of diamonds, but just normal hard-working people like you and me. They do the job the best they can, and don't get treated terribly well by their employers, let alone the so-called 'fans'.

      No, I absolutely refuse to stand for that, she is personally responsible for every design choice made in building, testing and releasing that character, and personally responsible for every match I lose while playing the character she voiced.

      /s

      Would it actually make a difference if the voice actor lived in a golden tower built of diamonds though? They're still just the person performing a role, rather than a game designer.

        Oh, don't get me wrong - I *LOVE* golden diamonds - but I hear that it's kind of the zeitgeist to hate people who have those things...

          Right, but this isn't a "hating on rich people" thing. Even if she was rich, she'd wouldn't have any input into the game's balance.

    In high school, we used to put on an annual school play. Robin The Hood, Bugsy Malone, that kind of stuff. Most years I played the main villain. For months afterwards, other kids would come up to me to joke about my role... but as if they were actually talking to/mocking the character, not to me - the actor who played the character.

    I knew even at the time that it was partly a compliment that the role had been played convincingly in a way they wanted to engage with and they were too stupid/immature to know how to do that... but holy shit, how do people not grow out of that?

    Blizzard has a policy to ban players that harrass their employee, so I think it shpuld extend to this case to voice actors and talent. Blizzard needs to action this.

    The really crappy thing is; she was better off not being on social media. Be known and regarded in the closed community of voice actors, but avoid the great unwashed. While there are doting fans, there are also many turds.

      She shouldn't have to though. The great unwashed should pull their ****ing heads in and learn the difference between an actor and a character.

        Voice actors need to be on social media to further their presence, though. They need the promotion and support just as much as ... well, every other public persona.

        And they sure as hell don't deserve to be treated like this.

          I do really want to agree with you.
          It would be nice if it were true.
          The internet is the Wild West of the 21st century. Your only hope is a semi closed platform, relative anonymity or get someone to manage your profile for you who are paid to ignore drama and refer criminal threats to the police.
          What makes no sense to me at all is people like trump are able to spew and incite hatred and don’t get censured but others do. It means the Wild West will get wilder not tamer. If they want to change it- be consistent with their enforcement rule enforcement. Don’t leave it to users to contact the police- clean it up for them.

    This is fucked up and retarded.
    It's like when people harassed Anna Gunn because they didn't like how Skyler didn't like how Walt was in the meth business.
    Do these people even think?

      Yeah she got a lot of hate. I very much disliked the 'character, which was no doubt an intention of the show as of course you tend to dislike what is essentially the 'weak point' of the protagonist whom we've sympathized with throughout the show.

      How people connect the actors to their roles to a point of abuse I'll never understand.

      Last edited 28/02/19 8:11 pm

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now