By Ray Adler, Vice President, Global Head of Games, Mattel
In Scrabble® – as in life – the words we choose matter. Words have the power to strengthen, encourage and honor, but they also can be used to weaken, discourage and disrespect. Evolving the ways in which we support and stand with historically excluded communities through our brands and products has always been a top priority for Mattel, and we’ve learned from the events of last year this work must be continuous.
As a family friendly brand, Mattel will be updating the official Scrabble list of playable words so our game aligns with our mission, anywhere you play. We will do this in four ways:
- Ongoing review and removal of words and definitions, including:
- Removing hate speech from the game.
- For words with multiple meanings, the definitions pertaining to hate speech will be removed.
- Updating Scrabble products published by our licensee Collins accordingly to uphold the same standards.
- Working with our mobile games developer, Scopely, to ensure removed words are not playable in the Scrabble GO mobile game, and definitions are updated to reflect the new word list.
- Updating official Scrabble instruction sheet and tournament rules, in partnership with the World English Language Scrabble® Players Association (WESPA).
Scrabble is about harnessing the power of words for good, while finding and making words over equitable, fun, and fair gameplay. As language and connotations change over time, so must Scrabble, and just as we look to update the list with new words each year, we also must revisit words from the past. The removal of hate speech and definitions from the Scrabble word list is an important step for the game’s inclusive progression and we hope to engage and educate ourselves alongside our players through the actions set forth above.
This will be an ongoing process, and we are committed to updating language as connotations evolve.
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