Queer romance was removed from 2011's Mass Effect 2 to appease Fox News

Bioware's 2011 game Mass Effect 2 features Jack, a woman who hints at pansexual relationships but will only romance the player if they're playing a man. It's because they removed the option in fear of a conservative media backlash. [thegamer.com]

Here's the game's writer Brian Kindregan, interviewed by Cian Maher:

"Mass Effect had been pretty heavily and really unfairly criticized in the US by Fox News, which at the time… maybe more people in the world thought that there was a connection between reality and what gets discussed on Fox News," Kindregan continues. "The development team of Mass Effect 2 was a pretty progressive, open-minded team, but I think there was a concern at pretty high levels that if [the first] Mass Effect, which only had one gay relationship, Liara – which on paper was technically not a gay relationship because she was from a mono-gendered species – I think there was a concern that if that had drawn fire, that Mass Effect 2 had to be a little bit careful."

And actress Courtenay Taylor, who starred as Jack:

"It's funny to me because my understanding was always that she was pansexual. So I don't know if that's just something I inferred from the character or something that she said that maybe got cut. I was surprised there wasn't a female romance possible because that was my understanding. I think it was the time, you know?

A classic tale of self-censorship and vicarious corporate homophobia.