Infinity Ward has removed the OK hand gesture from both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone, probably due to its growing associations with white supremacists. Neither developer Infinity Ward nor publisher Activision has commented on the removal.
As per reports, it has been missing for around a week now and was noticed first by video game journalism website, Eurogamer. It became one of the most popular emotes in the games which were added to the ADL’s database of hateful symbols in September 2019.
In recent weeks, the developer had issued strong statements urging to crack down on racism and even inserting a Black Lives Matter message into the game.
The US Anti-Defamation League described the OK symbol as “a sincere expression of white supremacy.” On 6 June, Infinity Ward has recently announced on Twitter, “There is no place for racist content in our game. This is an effort we began with the launch and we need to do a better job. We’re issuing thousands of daily bans of racist and hate-oriented names. But we know we have to do more.”
The controversy regarding the symbol started back in 2017 when social media site 4chan pretended there was a hidden meaning behind the OK sign in a bid to trick the media into a reaction.
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone, the OK gesture was a cool and useful “emote” for showboating with one hand while you gunned someone down with the other. It was used by many people as a way of asking if someone else is okay. However, the gesture was replaced with a new one, called “crush”.