Before you read this, if you haven't seen this Waypoint story about why Ronda Rousey has no place being in Mortal Kombat 11 going around, read it before you read my thoughts.
Now then, I'd like to take a few moments here to discuss why Ronda Rousey being in Mortal Kombat 11 is totally fine, and why Waypoint is once again preying on the "woke" audience for attention - by turning yet another harmless cameo into some sort of a major issue. Mortal Kombat 11 is completely unplayable garbage just cause Rousey is a Transphobe, right?
The author starts this piece by saying "This game is a blast" but in the same breath says "I can't whole-heartedly recommend this game". Well, which is it? Is the game "a blast" or is the entire experience ruined for you because of a character you can almost completely avoid? If you don't like Rousey's voice acting, you can turn off the sound or play with music on instead. Interacting with Sonya Blade is exactly that - it's interacting with Sonya Blade. A fictional character voiced by a person that this writer apparently has a personal issue with based on some of her political stances. If a game that you're "having a blast with" is marred by the choice of one voice actor among an extensive cast, maybe you should reconsider that in the grand scheme of things, most people do not give one iota of a fuck about voice actor's personal life or political standings or affiliations.
To further attribute how much of a non-story this entire piece is, the author describes her experiences with MMA and how much of an inspiration Rousey was to her for the majority of this "story", before finally getting around to the point she's making: Ronda Rousey doesn't "belong" in Mortal Kombat 11 as a voice actor because of her views on the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, and her views on how Transgender female athletes have an advantage over biological female contemporaries. Let's put Rousey's personal views aside for a second and understand why, no matter how much this person chooses to say otherwise, that Ronda Rousey absolutely belongs here if Netherrealm Studios wants her to be.
First off: It's no secret that Netherrealm as a studio loves professional wrestling. Not only have they added wrestling related easter eggs in their work for years, they created WWE Immortals, which is essentially a WWE themed version of Injustice for mobile platforms. Secondly, take a look at the cast of Mortal Kombat over the past few games. Johnny Cage has started to look an awful lot like The Miz. Sonya Blade has started to look a lot like Ronda Rousey herself (again, not a surprise that she'd eventually show up to voice her.) Kano is almost a spitting fucking image of Austin Aries. The influence of pro-wrestling in Netherrealm's work is obvious and to act like they aren't huge fans of wrestling would be absurd, especially considering there's not only WWE easter eggs in Mortal Kombat 11, but Cage even has a belt buckle that's called "Bullet Gang is Fine" which is styled to remind people of Cody Rhodes' American Nightmare Bullet Club logo. Wrestling and fighting games have been increasingly seen holding hands publicly, which is why CEO now not only hosts their fighting game tournament but now does a co-branded wrestling show with New Japan Pro Wrestling and this year the newly formed All Elite Wrestling.
Because of Rousey's legitimacy as a professional fighter, as well as her shift to becoming a professional wrestler, Netherrealm shifting Sonya Blade to resemble her is a testament to both Rousey as a figure-head for the sport, but also as someone who's done wonders to legitimize female sports and make them compelling for everyone - not just other females. Regardless of how you as a person feel about her as a person, she's done a lot and deserves to be part of anything she's asked to be a part of. Rousey might have made some comments that people don't like, but there's a huge difference in this versus when WWE named the Women's Battle Royal at Wrestlemania after The Fabulous Moolah, who was a recognizable tough woman, but did a lot of horrible things.
So, Ronda Rousey denied Sandy Hook - except she didn't. She posted a link to a video and said it was "interesting". It's a crime these days to think about something instead of accepting it at face value, so naturally Ronda is a criminal here. Ronda also said some "transphobic bullshit" according to the article, and linked to an article another site (clearly skewed toward a certain bias, and from 2015 no less) where that writer puts their foot in their own mouth by complaining about a lack of research showing that Trans females don't have any biological advantages nor are there an overwhelming amount of trans females dominating sports. Except now it's 2019, and more research has come out saying otherwise - but that's a debate for another time. As a casual reminder, the fighter Rousey "said Transphobic bullshit" about was Fallon Fox, who literally broke her opponent's skull - a feat not often seen in MMA.
The point I'm making here is that not only does this Waypoint writer make a fairly empty claim because they find some moral objection about a voice casting choice, but they then also link skewed and extremely out of date articles to support their claims, and then she offers two replacement examples: Angela Hill (who's most famously known for dressing up as Sagat for a weigh-in) and Gina Carrano who's almost unanimously the first search result when googling for a Ronda Rousey alternative. Neither of those women are bad suggestions, but you'd think someone who's so "aware" of MMA would have suggested someone that more caters to their agenda - like current Bantamweight UFC Champion Amanda Nunes (who's a Lesbian and in a very public relationship with Strawweight UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff) or someone who's been accused of being Transgender in Cris Cyborg. At any rate, none of those four women were chosen. Why? Because again, Sonya Blade's character model started to resemble Ronda Rousey - a familiar face to a younger audience - because only old nerds like me remember that Sonya Blade's original look was basically Lori from Total Recall (though they'd tell you they based her on Cynthia Rothrock.)
To summarize: Waypoint says Ronda Rousey is bad because she said something disparaging about Transgender people - instead of just sticking to the real complaint that Rousey delivered the lines like shit. Her voice acting is pretty terrible, but that's where the complaint should start and end - not because you didn't agree with how they see things politically. This Waypoint article is clickbait, and it's a weakly argued stance that reeks of "my editors told me to write this for traffic".
Waypoint, you write for gamers who play games, address them with respect instead of continually crafting catered hit pieces to get Twitter buzzing about how people are going to boycott a game that they would have never purchased in the first place due to one very minor casting choice that ultimately impacts nothing in the game. Notice that this article is very much an opinion, but Waypoint doesn't have a reminder that the personal opinions of their staff writers don't reflect the outlet as a whole? Of course it doesn't, because once again, they're catering to outrage culture and not who their audience should be: gamers.
Articles like this are why gamers are moving away from the opinions of games media and starting to look to Youtubers and Streamers for opinions that they can identify with because people are tired of having to sift through political bullshit and a biased agenda just to figure out if a game is "good" or not. This shit needs to stop and people need to enjoy a game for what it is - entertainment. If you wanna bitch about Transphobia, do it if Sonya starts heckling D'vorah between rounds by asking if she lost her "stinger", not cause the voice actor said something you didn't like once in her personal life.