Ronda Rousey under fire for Sonya Blade voice-over role in 'Mortal Kombat 11'

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: Ronda Rousey (L) backstage with artist Bosslogic at Mortal Kombat 11: The Reveal on January 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Ronda Rousey, with artist Bosslogic at Mortal Kombat 11, didn't put in a good showing in gamers' eyes. (Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

“Mortal Kombat 11” has been in gamers’ hands for a week, and while they’re having a fun time, they’re also taking a break to question Ronda Rousey’s role in it.

Rousey is under fire for her voice-over performance as Sonya Blade and comments she’s made in the past.

Rousey’s performance criticized by MK fans

The “Mortal Kombat 11” team announced Rousey, the former MMA champion and current WWE performer, as the voice of its original female character in January. She did not do any motion capture, per an interview on her site.

Rousey, 32, said at the time she long looked up to the character as a role model and wanted to play her some day.

“I’ve always kind of emulated her in my own way and now I get to try and be her,” Rousey said in the reveal video.

In many fans’ eyes, she’s not doing a great job at it. In a community forum at Waypoint, her delivery is described as flat and all-caps “terrible.” Fans on Twitter are similarly disappointed.

As Danielle Riendeau noted in a piece for Waypoint, there are thousands of girls playing as Sonya Blade because they actually can. For those who grew up in the 1990s, the game was one of only a few to offer a female character and therefore allow girls to believe they could be it one day. More than 25 years later there still aren’t many options and, she argues, Sonya Blade deserves better.

Rousey’s past complicates game for fans

Two articles dropped this week, the one in Waypoint and another at Kotaku, calling out Rousey’s inclusion based on two events in the past.

She verbally took on Fallon Fox, the sport’s first known female transgender woman, and spoke against the fighter’s inclusion in the women’s division because of what she called a male bone structure. UFC president Dana White was against Fox fighting women while former NFL player and MMA fighter Matt Mitrione also spoke out against it, calling her a “disgusting freak.”

Rousey did not support Mitrione’s use of words and told the New York Post the following in 2013, which is cited in both the pieces:

“She can try hormones, chop her pecker off, but it’s still the same bone structure a man has,” she said. “It’s an advantage. I don’t think it’s fair.”

Rousey blasted Cris “Cyborg” Justino in 2014 for her use of performance-enhancing steroids and said she was no longer a woman because of all the drug use, but “an it.”

The fighter also came under fire for tweeting an “interesting” YouTube video alleging the shooting at Sandy Hook in Newton, Connecticut, was a government conspiracy. Rousey later stated she did not mean to insult or be insensitive, she and others simply found it “interesting.”

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