Insomniac Games Dev Calls Female Artist “Transphobic” Because She Didn’t Like Lady’s Design From Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry Lady

[Update 2/20/2019:] Two of the tweets were removed from the image compilation at the request of their friend, who claims that they were not part of the harassment group targeting Layna.

[Original article:] The Social Justice crowd is a vindictive one. If you don’t comply with their standards or adhere to their ideology, they go out of their way to ruin your life. That recently happened with a female artist going by the handle Layna Lazar, who ended up becoming the target of the Social Justice brigade at the instigation of Insomniac Games character artist, Xaviar Coelho-Kostolny.

It started with a tweet from Layna on December 28th, 2018, pointing out that Lady from Devil May Cry 5 looked masculine and that her jaw was wider and that she looked frumpier.

The thread picked up a lot of positive feedback from actual gamers and fans of Devil May Cry who have been criticizing the new look of Trish and Lady in the upcoming game. The reason for the drastic change is that Capcom is now relying solely on photogrammetry to cut down on costs, which means they scan in a real life person after having them dress up like the character, and then have an art team clean up the meshes, apply the UV mapping, and smooth out the lighting, shaders, shadows, etc. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than having dozens of modelers manually sculpting the characters from scratch like in the old days.

Obviously, fans were mostly in agreement with Layna Lazar, but not Xavier. Things began to escalate after Layna modified Lady to have a thinner, less masculine face, and to give her a more slender look compared to how she appears in Devil May Cry 5.

The Insomniac Games developer was incensed that a woman would not only comment on a fictional character being unattractive but also attempt to make the character look more attractive. So he responded like any normal, reasonable, well-adjusted man: by retweeting dozens of people who began to criticize and berate Layna for making Lady look more feminine via a Photoshop liquify filter.

He then began to post other Photoshop images of liquified characters and retweet people who mocked Layna for not liking Lady’s new design.

This continued on for two days between December 29th, 2018 and December 30th.

Eventually Layna became tired of the harassment, which she claims began to invade her DMs, and issued a publicly statement about the incident on December 31st, 2018.

She talks about how she was bullied at school, how she fluctuated between 68lbs due to a medical condition all the way up to 150lbs, and had body positivity issues, as well as finding fictional big-boobed, curvy women sexy and inspirational.

At the end of the letter, Layna writes…

“You don’t have to like my opinion, you don’t have to like how I said it. But I am making it clear, that if you choose to see it depper than what it was, a discussion about artistically how something looks in a video game (which I pointed out the other characters in the thread too), and choose to make it personal, i.e., ‘I have a wide jaw and I should be proud!’ ‘that’s so transphobic to say you hate wide jaws!’ then not only are you wasting your time, but you’re not reading. It’s people like that, that spread massive outrage and toxicity as well as blindness. It’s people like that that lead people to kill themselves due to cyberbullying. I know that sounds really potentially silly, but it happens and it’s happened before. There are so many people sturggling through mental health, myself included. So if you feel I’ve wrong you, then just leave it at that, don’t be a part of a bigger problem.


“I hate bullying. I think it’s awful and cruel.”

Layna also notes that she was just talking about what she didn’t like about the design, but didn’t want Capcom to change it, nor was she trying to advocate for them to change it.

Xavier, however, felt as if she needed to be reprimanded for her views. And while he didn’t directly harass her by making comments about her, he did fill his entire feed for nearly two days with retweets of people who did intend to castigate Layna.

A fellow artist, Jon Troy Nickel, censured Xavier on his behavior for promoting harassment, writing a lengthy post on January 1st, 2019 to address the Insomniac Games developer about his antics.

If you’re unable to read it, Jon wrote…

“Your behavior over Laynas opinion on the DMC Lady character is absolutely deplorable and not befitting of someone currently working in an AAA game company.


“You are actively promoting hate speech towards Layna, and MANY of the people you are whipping up into a frenzy have sent through DEATH THREATS, racial slurs, [and] all around absolutely horrific messages to her DM’s of which we are more than happy to make public. They are ALL from people YOU are winding up from your incessant tweet storm over the last couple of days.


“Your twitter currently reads like an obsession to slander and bring her down, and a quick read through the comments makes it clear that you are absolutely loving it.


“This is hardly the behavior of someone working at the company that just shipped Spiderman and someone who I once shared a good level of online banter with on the polycount days.


“I really don’t know what happened to you dude, but over the last few years you have [publicly] attacked and hated on artwork that didn’t fit your lens. This is not the first time you have done these kinds of things. And when called out on your behavior you have absolutely zero remorse. In fact, it’s the opposite.”

It’s true, this has happened before.

YouTuber Evan Filarca posted up a video back on January 23rd, 2017 detailing how Xavier and Ryan Benno from Insomniac Games had been bullying him.

In the case of Layna, Xavier did respond on January 1st, 2019, by placing the blame on her and Jon, stating that they were trying to get him fired.

He claimed to be the victim of harassment by Layna, claiming that it all started when he tried to get hentai from ArtStation removed because he didn’t believe anime porn should have been on the website.

Xavier claimed that Layna and Jon took offense to his endeavors and tried harassing him, doxing his friends, and attempting to get him fired.

Xavier justified his actions by claiming that Layna’s opinions were based on “transphobic” opinions, and therefore it was good that a lot of people “tore into her”.

Basically, his reasoning was “it’s okay when we do it.”

After he explained and justified his actions, he then claims that Layna and Jon were trying to get him fired from Insomniac Games.

Not all of his followers bought into the story, nor were many of them willing to let it slide that he basically attempted to orchestrate harassment against someone for not liking a character design. There were some who padded his ego, though, and gave him justification for setting up people to harass Layna.

It’s similar to how similar groups harassed a pornstar into suicide because she didn’t want to have on-screen sex with homosexual men, as reported by Fox News. There was also another case where the Steven Universe fandom, made up mostly of LGBTQ individuals, harassed a female artist who worked on the show to the point where she eventually deleted her social media accounts, as reported by NewNowNext. And there was also the case where female artist OhNips!, was repeatedly harassed by the trans community because she drew one of the male characters from Dream Daddy as a female, which the fandom claimed was “transphobic”.

While the media labeled #GamerGate as a harassment campaign (for which there was no recorded evidence of such, according to the FBI report), it appears that the people who are most fond of Social Justice are the ones who are quick to actually organize harassment campaigns… especially against women.

(Thanks for the news tip Tomato Tentacle)