Today, an argument broke out on Twitter between Anthony Burch, lead writer on Borderlands 2, and a few players who think that Tiny Tina is a racist character.
The issue, as some folks saw it, was that Tiny Tina appropriated African American lingo. See above video, which showcases Tiny Tina dialogue, if you want reference.
The argument on Twitter, which ends with Burch saying he'll consider changing her, is as follows—note that this is a mix of developers, game journalists, and random fans:
Currently debating whether or not Tiny Tina is racist with some people. This is the first I've heard of it, so tell me — is she?— Anthony Burch (@reverendanthony) February 3, 2013
The last thing I want to be is exclusionary or prejudiced, so if Tina truly is problematic I'll change her.— Anthony Burch (@reverendanthony) February 3, 2013
I'm just not convinced that a character using lingo like badonkadonk/crunk is inherently racist. If I'm wrong I would like to know why.— Anthony Burch (@reverendanthony) February 3, 2013
@alexziebart Hrm — that's an interesting point. I meant to make her a mishmash of stuff (ebonics/fairytale/naivete) but I see what you mean— Anthony Burch (@reverendanthony) February 3, 2013
@reverendanthony I mean this in a lighthearted way but you found another way to make me sweat bullets, what with the VO session coming up :)— Matt Charles (@djsatis) February 3, 2013
Matt Charles is a producer on Borderlands 2.
Whether or not a change in Tina's character will actually occur is not clear, though I suspect many fans would be upset if she was altered: she is frequently cited as a favorite character.
UPDATE: Some are even defending Tina, as not all players believe she is racist (including Gearbox president, Randy Pitchford):
@reverendanthony tina is not racist because you are not racist. You're a pillar of tolerance and inclusion.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) February 3, 2013
@reverendanthony DO NOT CHANGE TINY TINA. I never found it racist, I thought she was insane, but not racist. Keep her insane.— Tyler Peltonovich (@vortexelemental) February 3, 2013
@reverendanthony Please don't change your character because people find it "offensive" too many people get their way with stuff cry=theirway— Dasukku (@Dasukku) February 3, 2013
@reverendanthony I will be deeply offended if you change Tiny Tina.— RvLeshrac (@RvLeshrac) February 3, 2013
@reverendanthony she isn't racist. in fact, she's one of my favorite characters in the game.— robert rodriguez (@mcdoobie) February 3, 2013
Though this is but a small sampling of the response Burch is getting, which you can view here.
I reached out to Burch and have yet to hear back.
UPDATE 2: Burch responds and clarifies: