Kotaku falsely claims Persona 5 lyrics include slur, issue non-apology, and fail to take down or edit original article *UPDATE*


Kotaku has now edited the original story. Strangely enough, the update doesn’t mention the fact that Nintendo did clarify that the lyrics in the song do not contain the word “retarded” as Kotaku claims.

Within the update it also seems that Kotaku is still attempting to cast a shadow on the claims of Persona fans as they state that they have been told that their interpretation of the lyrics is simply incorrect and that the lyrics are either “retort it” or “ritardendo”, but Kotaku still claims, “we’ve listened again and still don’t quite hear it that way.”

Kotaku has also amended their apology article stating the cause for the slow update. According to them, the site is undergoing major work, and because of this update are slow to push through.

Understandable as this is, Kotaku then goes on to say that they will not delete their article because “what would be the point anyway?”


As of April 21 (4 days after the article in question’s initial posting), the Kotaku article discussed here has still not been altered in any way. It still portrays the song as containing offensive lyrics despite Nintendo’s official comment on the matter.

Original Article –

Recently, an article was written by Kotaku’s Laura Kate Dale claiming that a lyric included in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Persona 5 stage said “retarded” within a spoken word section of the song titled “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There.”

While if this were a true, the song’s inclusion in Smash Bros. would have definitely come into question, Nintendo themselves confirmed this not to be the case.

“We checked with Atlus who confirmed that the actual lyrics of the song do not include the word ‘retarded’.”


According to the original article claiming “retarded” was used in the lyrics, Nintendo and Atlus were both contacted for clarity on the lyrics. Instead of waiting for a response, Kotaku published the article immediately.

Following backlash from readers, Kotaku attempted to apologize for their publishing of a false narrative, but instead attempted to dust off some of the blame onto Nintendo for not giving them a clear enough explanation on the song’s actual lyrics.

“Frustratingly, this does not clear up the confusion over what the singer is actually saying.”

-Kotaku’s response to being told the word “retarded” was not said in the song’s lyrics

The apology article also claims that the original article has been updated to fix the error. While in reality, the entire article should be removed from the site as it makes an entirely false claim, it has not been altered in the slightest.

It does not contain an update, and still rests on Kotaku UK’s website as of 7:20 PM Eastern Time.

On top of that there isn’t even a link to the apology article contained within the original article. Instead, there is a link to the original article inside of the apology article.

These actions clearly paint a bad picture for Kotaku, and they make it appear that they are not even trying to brush the false news under the rug, but instead they are trying to get all the clicks out of the controversial piece as possible before admitting their wrongdoing in big bold letters at the top of the original article (which should happen if the piece isn’t going to be removed entirely).

Unlike Kotaku, we’ll keep you updated on whether or not the article is edited or removed. Link to the Kotaku article will not be provided as to prevent someone profiting from false claims.

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