Infinity Ward reportedly removed the “OK” hand gesture emote from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in an effort to fight racism at the start of the Season 4 battle pass.
After plastering “BLACK LIVES MATTER” in capitalized bold text across every loading screen and delaying the launch of Season 4 for a week seemingly failed to end racism on a global scale, it appears that Infinity Ward have removed the OK emote from the game.
Infinity Ward did not make an official statement about removing the emote from the game, but players on Twitter were quick to notice the missing gesture.
@CallofDuty WHAT HAPPENED TO MY OK SIGN EMOTE
— Officermeow916 (@officermeow916) July 2, 2020
@CallofDuty before the mid season update there was a gift pack released with the ok symbol i snatched this pack just for the ok symbol but now its been replaced with another emote called crush. I dont want crush. I want the okay symbol. Please respond id like to know why this is
— I Dont Exist (@NobishBro) July 1, 2020
Why was the ok emote removed
— Victor Almanza (@Cheney_Mania) June 30, 2020
A thread on Reddit also addressed the issue, though it was quickly locked by forum moderators.
Coupled with the various heavy-handed political statements in support of Black Lives Matter made by Infinity Ward and Activision in recent weeks, it appears unlikely that the disappearance of the OK emote is accidental.
In 2017, the OK symbol was used in an online trolling campaign to demonstrate that legacy media is ignorant enough to believe anything is a hate symbol, to great success:
The far left “anti-hate” organization, the Anti-Defamation League, has officially designated the OK hand sign as a hate symbol.
In 2017, an online troll campaign began to trick the media into thinking that the OK sign was a white supremacist one, given how willing they are to decry anything as racist. As expected, the legacy media jumped right onto it, but the ADL themselves did not take the bait, and noted the trolling for what it was.
Despite knowing the entire thing was made up to incense the liberal media, the ADL on Wednesday declared that the OK sign was now an unironic racist symbol, and decided to include it in their hate symbols database:
Some white supremacists themselves soon also participated in such trolling tactics, lending an actual credence to those who labeled the trolling gesture as racist in nature. By 2019, at least some white supremacists seem to have abandoned the ironic or satiric intent behind the original trolling campaign and used the symbol as a sincere expression of white supremacy.
While Infinity Ward has delivered a sub-par gaming experience across all four seasons of the battle pass, players can rest assured that racism is slowly but surely being deleted from the game, one 30 gigabyte update at a time.