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JonTron is still in A Hat in Time, but not without controversy

One Kickstarter project the button-pushing YouTuber has yet to be cut from

a scene from a hat in time Gears for Breakfast/Humble Bundle

Jonathan “JonTron” Jafari, a popular YouTuber whose racist and divisive political stances drew widespread criticism earlier this year, will soon be heard in one of the fall’s most promising indie games: A Hat in Time, which launches Oct. 5 after years of Kickstarter updates and promises to backers.

But JonTron’s bit part in the game, seen in videos like the clip from streamer Vinesauce below, has ruffled the feathers of those who have since abandoned or turned against the YouTuber. Some are calling for developer Gears for Breakfast and publisher Humble Bundle to address JonTron’s involvement, or even remove him from the game.

The backlash began in March, when JonTron espoused inflammatory views about Mexicans and African-Americans during a Twitch stream. His comments cost him thousands of YouTube subscribers, whose faith he failed to win back after a video addressing the situation failed to deliver a concrete apology. Ultimately, developer Playtonic Games decided to cut JonTron’s voice role from Yooka-Laylee because of his comments.

JonTron had been attached to Yooka-Laylee since 2015, prior to the launch of its wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. As for A Hat in Time — a similarly nostalgia-skewing platformer — JonTron’s voice work could be heard way back in 2014, when Gears for Breakfast made an alpha build available to backers. He can be heard in the beta build from 2015 below; back then, his character was a jazz-loving penguin. (He’s a receptionist owl now.)

Following JonTron’s removal from Yooka-Laylee, however, backers began to wonder if his voice would remain to be heard in A Hat in Time.

Yet Gears for Breakfast failed to comment on if it would excise JonTron’s cameo from the adventure game as A Hat in Time’s release date approached. And now that the game’s review embargo is up and JonTron’s cameo appears intact, more voices are chiming in against the YouTuber.

On NeoGAF, some users say they won’t buy A Hat in Time until Gears for Breakfast takes JonTron out. Others are demanding comment from the developer on Twitter. At the same time, fans are defending the YouTuber and mocking his naysayers for getting riled up about the voice role — a casual Twitter search shows both mindsets en masse.

Humble Bundle told Polygon that “we exercise zero creative control on the games we support,” and the publisher has no comment on JonTron’s participation in the game. We’ve contacted Gears for Breakfast about JonTron’s role in A Hat in Time and have not yet received a response.

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