call of duty trans bullets depicting an image from the game of bullets in a magazine adorned with the trans pride flag.

Call of Duty "Trans Bullets" Controversy

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Updated Jun 06, 2024 at 03:09PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jun 06, 2024 at 11:36AM EDT by Adam.

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Related Explainer: Why Do People Think Call of Duty Released "Trans Bullets"? A Pride Month Nontroversy Explained

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Overview

Call of Duty "Trans Bullets" Controversy refers to outrage over a supposed Pride Month promotion by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III publishers Activision that will give players bullets painted with the colors of the transgender pride flag. The rumor, however, is inaccurate, as Call of Duty instead introduced cosmetics that would reskin guns with the colors of various pride flags. One gun, the M4, has a specific weapon blueprint, purchasable as part of a separate bonus package, that alters the appearance of bullets, and the "trans bullets" only appear with that specific layout. Nevertheless, the idea Call of Duty released "trans bullets" led to outrage from right-wing sources on social media, including Libs of TikTok.

Background

On June 1st, 2024, Activision released a Pride Month promotion for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III where players could alter the skins of guns to reflect the colors of various pride flags (shown below).[1]


Pride Month: Daily Login Weapon Camos CALL OF DUTY® MNIII Call of Duty is for everyone, and we're proud to celebrate Pride Month by offering seven different Weapon Camo variants, each representing the colors of the different LGBTQ+ flags. Available as a free Gift Pack, find them in the Store in a single bundle.

That day, Twitter / X user @BobNetworkUK[2] tweeted a screenshot of bullets in the game sporting the colors of the transgender flag, claiming "TRANS BULLETS 😭😭😭 they're gonna hate this one." The tweet gained over 2,900 retweets and 31,000 likes in five days (shown below).


: bob. @BobNetworkUK • Automated THEY COVER THE BULLETS ON SOME GUNS TRANS BULLETS they're gonna hate this one

Developments

Despite discourse online in June 2024, Call of Duty did not release "trans bullets" as part of a Pride Month promotion. In Modern Warfare III, the "Soul Harvester" weapon blueprint for the M4 gun, which came as part of the $100 "Vault Edition" package for the game, adds color effects to the gun.[3] According to testing done by Kotaku, the appearance of "trans bullets" only occurs using the "Soul Harvester" M4 with the trans flag skin. Switching to any other skin with that loadout results in the bullet color changing to match the skin.

Though the "trans bullets" narrative is a hoax, after BobNetworkUK's tweet, prominent conservatives on Twitter voiced outrage that Call of Duty had released "trans bullets." For example, on June 3rd, 2024, Ian Miles Cheong claimed that the addition of "trans bullets" made it so players could "literally roleplay a transgender mass shooter," gaining over 680 retweets and 2,300 likes in three days[4] (shown below, left).

The same day, Libs of TikTok[5] quote-tweeted Cheong's tweet and voiced a similar outrage over the idea that CoD was enabling players to "roleplay being a literal trans t*rr*rist," gaining over 2,000 retweets and 5,500 likes in three days (shown below, right).


lan Miles Cheong ❤❤❤ @stillgray Activision's Call of Duty just added transgender bullets to the game in honor of Pride Month, so you can literally roleplay a transgender mass shooter. 10:31 AM - Jun 3, 2024 740.1K Views CALL OF DUTY MODERN WARFARE : Libs of TikTok Libs of TikTok @libsoftiktok Call of Duty is now enabling kids to roleplay being a literal trans t*rr*rist. With the uptick in actual trans violence that we've been seeing, it's alarming that @CallofDuty would introduce this. x.com/stillgray/stat... lan Miles Cheong @stillgray Jun 3 Activision's Call of Duty just added transgender bullets to the game in honor of Pride Month, so you can literally roleplay a transgender mass shooter.

The narrative that "Call of Duty is enabling gamers to roleplay as a trans shooter" saw pushback online from players who understood that the game had not released "trans bullets."

For example, on June 5th, 2024, Twitter user @esjesjesj[6] pointed out that Call of Duty does not have the option to make a character's gender trans, thus one cannot play as a trans person, gaining over 990 retweets and 23,000 likes in one day (shown below).


evan loves worf @esjesjesj You are literally not able to play as a trans person X Libs of TikTok Libs of TikTok ❤ @libsoftiktok Follow 600 Call of Duty is now enabling kids to roleplay being a literal trans t*rr*rist. With the uptick in actual trans violence that we've been seeing, it's alarming that @CallofDuty would introduce this. lan Miles Cheong www @stillgray-2d Activision's Call of Duty just added transgender bullets to the game in honor of Pride Month, so you can literally roleplay a transgender mass shooter.

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