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Kazuma Kiryu, one of the protagonists of the Like a Dragon franchise (still better known under its former name Yakuza outside of Japan), will be voiced by VA Yong Yea in the English version of the upcoming Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. That change has ruffled some feathers among fans of the series, a few of which seem to have undertaken a mission of digging up dirt on the new VA to facilitate a forced cast change.

Before getting into voice acting, Yong Yea was mainly active on YouTube, where his channel has grown to have 1.23 million subscribers. In a video from about six years ago, he spoke about PewDiePie using a racial slur in one of his videos, arguing that this wasn’t necessarily a big deal and that the word could be used in a well-meaning fashion.

Yong Yea has now apologized for this line of argument in a series of Tweets: “Being ignorant about the word's full historical context, having heard it used in all kinds of ways from so many people around me growing up, I had ignorant notions about its usage.”

“I knew it was racially derogatory, but I had seen so many people, among groups of people who were black and other races, who were friendly with each other, use it casually among themselves that I genuinely thought at the time that context can change the meaning of the word,” he continued. That, he wrote, led him to present his arguments in the way he did.

He added that having grown up in Venezuela speaking Spanish until he moved to the US when he was 14 years old, he lacked some context around the English language that might have helped him understand the situation better.

He continued: “Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who were kind enough to correct my ignorance. I am not the same person I was 6 years ago, and I won't be the same person 6 years from now.”

“People learn and grow from ignorance, as does society as a whole, and it really was that for me. It was a foreigner's ignorance. But even unintended ignorance can be damaging, so I apologize if anyone was hurt. I hope you know that my prior ignorance has since been corrected,” he finished his statement.