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‘Resident Evil 4’ Voice Actress Is Being Harassed Over Changes to Her Character in the Remake

Ada's new voice actress is great. You guys are just mean.

Ada Wong in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Resident Evil 4 (originally released in 2005) is arguably the best of the Resident Evil games, and thus, its remake had quite the shoes to fill. But some gamers and fans are now review-bombing the game and even openly harassing Lily Gao (voice actress for Ada Wong). Their reasoning? The game is now too “woke.”

Basically, Ada Wong in the RE4 remake has been updated with a different dress (slightly less revealing, though still very tight), and her dialogue has been changed to be slightly less openly flirtatious/sexy. This is despite the fact that the game still has plenty of moments when the camera lingers on Ada’s body, and the RE remakes in general have updated the outfits to make them a little less ostentatious. The ridiculous outfits are what mods are for.

Instead of complaining to the writers or developers of the game, fans have been taking that out on voice actress Lily Gao, while also heavily criticizing her performance as this more subdued and sarcastic Ada Wong. Gao has already deactivated her Instagram account, and I can’t help but feel like we’ve walked this path before, with how much hate that’s been hurled at other actors of color in the past (John Boyega, Ahmed Best, Kelly Marie Tran, and Moses Ingram, just to name a handful off the top of my head).

At any rate, while fan harassment in general is horrible, especially harassing an actress over a story they didn’t write, I do think franchises need to do something to protect their actors from this kind of abuse, which is mostly leveled on the POC/marginalized actors. Star Wars made a post to call out harassers of Ingram Moses last year, but these massive franchises can and should do better to protect their actors and punish fans who participate in harassment.

General “wokeness” in the Resident Evil 4 remake

There have been other complaints about how RE4 is now “woke” because players can no longer look up Ashley’s skirt (she wears a skort now), Leon doesn’t make a sexist remark after Ada jets off again, and the soundtrack is somehow “woke” (possibly because it features non-European styles of music and has women doing vocals).

Some have even tried to argue that Ashley Graham’s character has been changed for the worse, which I must heartily disagree with. It was a running gag in the original that Ashley was the stereotypical infantilized damsel in distress, to the point that many fans thought she was a teenager and not a twenty-year-old young woman. Ashley still has plenty of moments in the remake where protecting her is difficult, but the story also serves to explore her trauma as she is overwhelmed by the mind-controlling Las Plagas.

Thankfully, a large majority of the response to the game has been positive, and many fans both old and new are just as exhausted with the childish fans as the rest of us. I highly recommend reading Kotaku’s breakdown of the complaints, as they have a “no-holds-barred” approach to dealing with whiny gamers who can’t handle change, whether it’s for better or worse.

In any case, I find many of the changes to be welcome, and they definitely don’t undermine the real point of the game: suplexing villagers.

(featured image: Capcom)

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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.