The Last of Us Part II was one of the most hotly-anticipated games of the year. Developer Naughty Dog promised fans an emotional roller coaster worthy of the 2013 narrative-driven zombie survival title and since its release, the sequel has elicited some strong reactions. Unfortunately, however, not all of them have been positive.
Over on Twitter, actress Laura Bailey, who plays one of the game’s protagonists, Abby, announced that she’s received several death threats since The Last of Us Part II came out. “Man,” she writes in one post, “I try to only post positive stuff on here…but sometimes this just gets a little overwhelming.”
The same tweet contains screenshots of a few direct messages that have been sent to her by fans of the game. One writes he’s “going to find out where you live and slaughter you” while another promises to “stab” her, and a third tells her she “should DIE.”
Their outrage stems from the actress’ role in the story. Early on in the game her character, Abby, murders the protagonist of the original Last of Us, Joel. Meanwhile, Joel’s companion, rather than avenging his death, forgives and befriends her.
While the American constitution protects people’s rights to free speech, that right does not extend to threats. Libel and slander notwithstanding, words intended to inspire fear of injury or death are subject to persecution. Rather than reporting these irrational responses, however, Bailey simply thanks those who’ve sent her positive messages to “balance it out” instead.
Man. I try to only post positive stuff on here… but sometimes this just gets a little overwhelming. I blacked out some of the words cuz, ya know, spoilers.
Side note. Thank you to all the people sending me positive messages to balance it out. It means more than I can say.❤️ pic.twitter.com/kGyULWPpNu
— Laura Bailey (@LauraBaileyVO) July 3, 2020
Of course, Bailey isn’t the only performer who’s been threatened simply for doing her job. Other celebrities who’ve been harassed by fans include Jack Gleeson, who played the extremely unlikable boy king Joffrey Baratheon on the HBO series Game of Thrones, as well as Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the contrarian animated sitcom South Park.
What’s your opinion on The Last of Us Part II, though? Let us know in the comments section below.