Kotaku UK made a huge mistake recently where they claimed that Persona 5 soundtrack included a disability slur. They published an article on it but then once Atlus cleared it up, and after the backlash by fans, they issued an apology for this whole mess.
After the Persona 5 DLC was released for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it also launched with some tracks from Persona 5. One of the tracks is ‘Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There’ which is what started this whole drama.
According to Kotaku UK, this is what they heard in the lyrics for this track.
Oh Ah Hi
Are you ready?
Ready to pick up the pieces
Let’s go, let’s play, retarded
I can say it
Are you ready?
As they published the article, fans were quick to point out that it didn’t really mean “retarded” and even if you take a look at the lyrics, they honestly don’t make much sense with the word in place. It is tricky to figure out what the exact lyrics of the songs are but you can listen to it yourself at around 1:57 mark in the track.
After Kotaku UK received a statement from Nintendo that denied that the lyrics meant anything offensive, they published up a follow-up post in which they apologized for their mistake. Nintendo checked in with Atlus and confirmed that there was no offensive word used in the song.
We checked with Atlus who confirmed that the actual lyrics of the song do not include the word “retarded”.
The crux of this whole issue is that Kotaku could have waited for an official comment before publishing the article, but they didn’t. Honestly, the Persona community is quite vocal on social media so it easily escalated this issue thus damaging the reputation of Kotaku UK in this process.