Nintendo Faces Backlash After Removing Trans Flag Level from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Japanese gaming company Nintendo has been criticized on Twitter after removing a fan-made stage with a trans flag in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fighting game featuring numerous well-known Nintendo characters and stages inspired by past Nintendo games. The game includes a feature where fans can create their own stages to battle in.

One user created such a stage, entitled Trans Rights Now, which included a transgender pride flag. However, the stage was removed by Nintendo because it was deemed a “political statement.”

Twitter user Warm Safflina reportedly reached out to customer support, looking for a reason the level was removed.

However, political statements apparently aren’t prohibited in Nintendo’s Code of Conduct.

The supervisor the user spoke with apparently didn’t agree with the ruling, so had a recommendation for how to get Nintendo to allow the flag in fan-made levels.

“The supervisor… recommended I and others contact corporate, or visit the Smash support forums and leave messages that the trans flag and messages of support for trans rights shouldn’t be prohibited,” Safflina tweeted.

Safflina’s Nintendo account was suspended for 9 hours, but they later said that it appeared the level was still up, despite the email from Nintendo. They guessed “that someone goofed and quickly undid the suspension/removal, but not before triggering an email to automatically be sent out.”

After seeing Safflina’s thread, other Smash players protested the supposed deletion by creating more trans flag stages, while Safflina added some stages with the non-binary and genderfluid pride flags, as well.

According to Eurogamer, there are between 70 and 80 stages with trans flags currently online.