God of War's Christopher Judge responds to Angrboða backlash

·2 min read
god of war ragnarok, kratos and atreus
God of War actor responds to Angrboða backlashSony Interactive Entertainment

God of War: Ragnarök was a critical and commercial smash hit when it released at the end of last year, but there was an unfortunate backlash from a small contingent of people.

The negativity came from the casting of Black actress Laya DeLeon Hayes as Angrboða, a prominent figure in Norse mythology who teaches Atreus/Loki about his people (and takes him on an infamously lengthy yak ride).

Speaking to Sky News at the BAFTA Game Awards, Kratos actor Christopher Judge praised studio Sony Santa Monica for sticking to their guns and not backing down regarding the casting.

god of war ragnarok, atreus and angrboda
Sony Interactive Entertainment

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"Our producers… they took a lot of s**t for hiring Laya to play Angrboða, but they never wavered," Judge stated.

"They never once thought: 'Well, maybe we should do...' No, she was the best person for the job and she got it. And that's who Sony Santa Monica is from top to bottom. And I'm so proud to be a part of that.

"Still in my mind, I waited too long [to speak out]. So, I'm paddling upstream, I'm trying to make up for lost ground for all the years that I had success and didn't say s**t, I was afraid of losing my position. But that's the insidious thing about this ceiling — you live in fear of losing what you've achieved. And now that I live without fear, I have no excuse to not be a leading voice in it."

christopher judge
David M. Benett - Getty Images

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The actor also praised the studio for being diverse outside of the cast, but reiterated that "it's still a meritocracy, we hire the people that deserve to be there".

"Change always happens slower than we want it to," he added. "But I think it's so important to always call it out, to stay the course and to give young people [opportunities]. Like, we're taking you to the door to finally make these changes."

At the BAFTA Game Awards, DeLeon Hayes won the award for Performer in a Supporting Role and Judge won the award for Performer in a Leading Role, whilst Ragnarök itself lost out on Best Game to Vampire Survivors.

God of War: Ragnarök is out now on PlayStation 5 and PS4.

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