Back in 1994, Magic: The Gathering printed “Invoke Prejudice,” a card that appears to depict a horde of hooded Klansmen. This card, as seen below, and several others, are being “due to its racist depiction, text, or combination thereof. Racism in any form is unacceptable and has no place in our games, nor anywhere else.”
Magic: The Gathering is taking a hard look at its own history as Wizards of the Coast began by removing seven cards from play and from Gatherer, its official database.
“There’s no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else,” the company said Wednesday. “The events of the past weeks and the ongoing conversation about how we can better support people of color have caused us to examine ourselves, our actions, and our inactions.”
Wizards of the Coast began by removing “Invoke Prejudice,” “Cleanse,” “Stone-Throwing Devils,” “Pradesh Gypsies,” “Jihad,” “Imprison,” and “Crusade” from the game and from its official database of all Magic cards.
This may only be the beginning.
“We are starting a review of every card we have printed,” the official Twitter account shared. “This first pass isn’t meant to be an exhaustive catalogue of every problematic card in Magic’s history, and we will continue to take actions on similar cards in the future.”
Looking at it in context, “Invoke Prejudice” probably should have been removed years ago.
To matters more inflammatory, the card number is 1488, a figure significant to Nazis and white supremacists, with art by Harold McNeill, is known for his references to Nazi imagery.
Magic: The Gathering features gay, lesbian, transgender, and nonbinary characters in its official canon. Hugh McMullen, former Wizards Director of Communications, told Forbes in 2016 that it is important to the game to offer LGBTQ representation.
“Look at a typical Magic set today,” McMullen said, “There are black characters in the world inspired by Greek mythology. We spent a year on worlds inspired by Asian cultures. There are women warriors, women wizards, women sages, and women goblins. Whoever you are, you can see yourself in the game.”
Today, we will be changing the multiverse ID and removing the Gatherer card image for the card Invoke Prejudice, originally printed in 1994. The card is racist and made even worse by the multiverse ID it was unfortunately codified with years ago. There’s no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else.
But to that point, it should never have been published nor placed in the Gatherer. And for that we are sorry. The events of the past weeks and the ongoing conversation about how we can better support people of color have caused us to examine ourselves, our actions, and our inactions. We appreciate everyone helping us to recognize when we fall short. We should have been better, we can be better, and we will be better.
To that end, we will be removing a number of images from our database that are racist or culturally offensive, including:
- Invoke Prejudice
- Stone-Throwing Devils
- Pradesh Gypsies
Replacing those card images will be the following statement:
“We have removed this card image from our database due to its racist depiction, text, or combination thereof. Racism in any form is unacceptable and has no place in our games, nor anywhere else.”
Additionally, these cards will be banned in all sanctioned tournament play.
There’s much more work to be done as we continue to make our games, communities, and company more inclusive. Know that we work every day to be better and that we hear you. We look forward to sharing more of our plans with you as our games and organization evolve.