Dead By Daylight Devs Remove Leatherface ‘Blackface’ Mask

Dead By Daylight Devs Remove Leatherface ‘Blackface’ Mask

Fans of the 1974 horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre know that its famed antagonist, Leatherface (aka the Cannibal), has a gruesome penchant for wearing the faces of his victims as masks, a detail that developer Behaviour Interactive incorporated when it introduced him to Dead By Daylight as one of the game’s killers in September 2017. This ability is now being removed, Behaviour Interactive has announced, a decision which comes after many players argued that one of the masks was used to perpetuate harmful, racist harassment in-game in the form of blackface.

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In Dead By Daylight, the Cannibal can unlock and equip one of four masks based on the game’s original survivors: Claudette Morel, Dwight Fairfield, Meg Thomas, and Jake Park. You must kill each one at least 25 times as the Cannibal to get their respective faces as wearable masks. Unfortunately, it’s the face of Claudette, a Black woman and botanist, which saw the most usage as a mask by Leatherface players.

According to a developer update, Dead By Daylight players have reportedly used the Cannibal with the Claudette mask to “target and harass” others. The studio said it “absolutely condemns” this behaviour while admitting to feeling uncomfortable when masks are “used as a tool to spread hate.” As a result, all four unlockable masks will get removed in the game’s upcoming update.

“Anyone who has ever played the Cannibal by the release of the Mid-Chapter update will be awarded 6,000 Iridescent Shards to compensate for [the masks’] removal,” Behaviour Interactive said. “We will not tolerate hateful activity and will continue to take every step necessary to protect the community.”

As you can imagine, parts of the community are frustrated by the studio’s decision, with one player saying the Cannibal is a “cannibal and murderer” who’s unconcerned with “the race of the person whose face he is wearing.” Others argue that “context is king,” and in a game like Dead By Daylight, in which the objective is to kill anyone and everyone, “it’s not problematic.” The game’s official subreddit is littered with discussions about the Cannibal’s blackface, with conversations dating back at least two years. Most of the discourse centres around players calling the mask not racist.

Other community members, however, have long stated that many players often wore the mask as a racist act, and agree with Behaviour Interactive’s choice to remove the Cannibal’s unlockable masks. One player said it’s “why people wear Smartface [Claudette’s mask]” that could be a problem, while another wrote a long defence for why the masks shouldn’t be in the game. There was even a nearly 40-minute YouTube video by user sistakaren in November 2021 in which several people of colour discussed their experience with racism and the Cannibal’s blackface in Dead By Daylight.

Read More: Dead By Daylight’s Next Chapter Will Feature The Ring

There’s no word on when the game’s update goes live; however, the mask changes are supposed to hit the Player Test Build (PTB) sometime today.

[h/t: For The Win]



  • Please describe the exact instances of where people wore it to harass others.

    Because claiming the mere wearing of the mask is in itself a racist act is moronic. The dude is a serial killer.

    • Removing items like this only emboldens people to be even shittier. You aren’t telling people to stop, You are challenging them to be more elaborate.

      • To be fair I understand the line of thinking.. this is the internet and there will always be assholes that are out to cause shit. Cutting of a way for assholes to cause shit is an understandable measure.

        That being said as you’ve said it doesnt solve anything in the long term. These people are gonna do exactly as you say and just move on to causing more shit in a different way, ppl still get harassed and we all loose what was intended to be a fun way to play the game.. the only real winners are the shit stirrers coz they’ve had their moment of validation being an ass to people before moving on.

  • Oh.. ok so its perfectly fine to run around with a skinned white guys face or an asian guys face (not hearing any yellow face issues here?) but watch out its racism when its a black character?

    If your gonna pander that way then at least be bloody consistent and remove all the faces?

    • Since edits arent a thing.. I missed the fact everyone’s face is going. My fault for missing that bit..

      At least they’re consistent =/

  • so.. you cant choose who your survivors are when you play as killer unless youre in a group playing a private match – Im more curious how people are being racially targeted in a random match-up..

    and I was always more annoyed you couldnt collect all survivors faces, rather than the G1 survivors only..

    • “so.. you cant choose who your survivors are when you play as killer unless youre in a group playing a private match – Im more curious how people are being racially targeted in a random match-up..”

      This is exactly what I’m wondering about. DBD sets you up with random individuals that can set their names to be whatever they want, so besides being able to tell certain streamer identities due to many of them using their TTV in their name, how else are they supposedly targetting players?

      I have put over 200 hours into DBD and cannot at any point remember facing a Bubba using the Claudette mask. Doesn’t mean some weren’t using it, but due to the lighting of the game and how those 4 unlockable masks look very similar to the base mask, I just never remember seeing it as I’m usually more focused running away from him. I usually only notice when a Bubba uses the Mother mask since it’s so drastically different with the orange hair.

      Unless actual incidents can be shown I feel this is just perpetually-offended people tragetting the latest thing they can. In the end though, I’m just waiting for the announcement that they’ll remove Leatherface and/or other licensed killers/survivors/maps like they did with Stranger Things.

    • I get the feeling its less the trolls are targetting one specific person but more “fishing” specific “targets” to be an asshole to…

      Ie. Join game, spout shit to get a specific response (in this case say stuff to elicit a response from someone of color) and when someone bites go ham in trying to elicit further responses.

      The problem is the people who eventually bite not only feel “targeted” because the troll will actively target them in game now coz they took the bait. They further validate their actions by virtue of giving them oxygen.

      The best response is to block and report because no amount of engagement is ever going to work on those idiots. It also doesnt help when Kotaku perpetuates the “it’s a personal attack” response mentality.

  • Well I guess they miss out on being on his face then?

    This problem can be easily solved if we just reboot leatherface as a black guy, then everyone will be happy… Right? … Right guys?

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