• The popular word game Scrabble is being criticised as it allows racist slurs against Indigenous peoples. (AAP)Source: AAP
The anti-racism campaigner who successfully lobbied to have C**n cheese renamed now wants the owners of Scrabble to make the racial slurs invalid for scoring.
By
Sarah Collard

Source:
NITV News
7 Jan 2021 - 1:28 PM  UPDATED 7 Jan 2021 - 1:28 PM

Academic and anti-racism campaigner Dr Stephen Hagan has launched a human rights complaint over popular board game Scrabble for allowing slurs against First Nations people.

Dr Hagan lodged the complaint with the Human Rights Commission against the owners of popular board game Scrabble, saying he was concerned the words could normalise racist and offensive language. 

“Why would you teach kids, especially smarty young kids, who enjoy Scrabble that it's ok to use a racial slur if that's what it takes to win a game.” Dr Hagan wrote in his complaint.

The complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission outlines the offensive words where at least eight points can be earned.

“That's just that's just the number of points from a word but if those words fall on triple points or double points - Then the overall score goes up again.” Dr Stephen Hagan told NITV News.

Scrabble slurs 'Racist Australia'

The Kullilli man from southwest Queensland said the words are offensive and a product of the systemic racism ingrained in society.

“It’s casual racism. We see this time and time again and it just keeps cropping up in this Country.

Dr Hagan said all offensive words should be inadmissible and that a number of long-acknowledged racist words can be played.

“I went to scrabble word check and I was horrified when I found out that the words C**n, Ab* and B**ng were valid words, I typed in the N  word, which I campaigned  against for many years - it was invalid but not those words,” he said.

“That is just unacceptable… I couldn’t believe that a big international corporation that makes billions of dollars from their toys would have these offensive words in their popular game.”

Dr Hagan said all offensive words should be inadmissible and that a number of clearly racist words can be played.

“The descriptions of the words were clearly deemed to be offensive anyway but they still deemed it valid - I don’t get that. It seems very strange.”

"I couldn’t believe that a big international corporation that makes billions of dollars from their toys would have these offensive words in their popular game."

He is seeking a formal apology from the company and $150,000 in compensation for hurt and humiliation.

“Those people have never been called those words they've never been humiliated by those words .. they're probably oblivious to the offence caused by the use of those words." he said.

A spokesperson for Mattel Australia said slurs and racist language shouldn't be in play in response to NITV news's request for comment. 

“Offensive or racist language has no place in the Scrabble game.” they said.

Previously, Dr Hagan successfully lobbied Saputo, the makers of C**n Cheese, to commit to renaming the product. The cheese is still on supermarket shelves.