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Saints Row developer expresses regret over portrayal of women

"If I could go back I would have done things differently"

The creative director of the Saints Row series has expressed regret over the way previous entries in the series portrayed women.

Referring initially to feminist commentator Anita Sarkeesian's criticism of the original Saints Row in her latest Tropes vs Women in Video Games episode, Steve Jaros tweeted acknowledgement that she was right to do so.


Later, in an interview with The Escapist, Jaros elaborated on his comments by stating that more developers need to accept the sexism problem exists and needs to be worked on.

"I think that we shouldn't be portraying senseless abused women and I think that if I could go back and hop in a time machine I would have done things differently [in the first game]", he explained.

"I think that there's some things Saints Row does better than other games, and I think that there are other things that we could have done better. I think that every time that we've done a Saints Row game we've gotten better at it.

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Jaros cited the portrayal of sex workers in Saints Row 4 as an example of the progress being made by the studio.

"We never call a woman a 'ho' in Saints Row 4, we call them sex workers," he explained. "We respect that that's their position and we don't take a cheap shot at them for that. It's a minor thing, but it's something. It's the right thing to do.

"There's a reason that none of the Saints Row characters ever get naked, it's a conscious choice. Viola and Kiki are sex workers in Saints Row 3, but they are the most covered up characters.

They're wearing turtlenecks, leggings and a skirt over leggings. They don't show an inch of skin, and it was by design, because we didn't want to sexually objectify them."

"I think it's fair to be called out on your shit. I think that it's a sad man that can never be self-reflective.

"I think that we tried to go and carry ourselves with respect, and try to respect sexuality and respect gender as much as we can, and sometimes we fail but hopefully we'll do better and continue to get better."

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