Zachary Gordon Controversy Explained: Tighnari Voice Actor Drama Breakdown

By Klein Felt Posted:
Zachary Gordon Tighnari Voice Actor

Zachary Gordon, the voice actor behind Genshin Impact character Tighnari, has found himself at the center of a major online controversy. 

Gordon's name has been associated with the popular free-to-play action RPG since April 2023, as he was brought on to replace the English voice actor of Forest Ranger, Tighnari - one of the playable Dendro characters in the game.

The Genshin voice actor is best known for his work in movies and television, having appeared as Greg Heffley in the first three Diary of a Wimpy Kid films in the early-to-mid 2010s. 

The Zachary Gordon Controversy Explained

Zachary Gordon and Tighnari in Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact

Fans are up in arms once again after controversy surrounding Genshin Impact voice actor Zachary Gordon was brought back to light. 

The drama centered on the Tighnari star was brought back to light following a string of recent TikTok videos, joking about Gordon being the second actor to voice the character to be quote-on-quote problematic. 

Gordon started to draw the ire of fans back in January 2024 when he was accused of being a Zionist after liking certain social media posts supporting Israel in its ongoing conflict with Palestine.

Fans spotted the actor liking these sorts of posts, as well as images of him visiting Israel when he was a teen, causing the uproar, as many view the actions taken against Palestine by the Israeli government as colonial chest-puffing and potentially even genocide. 

Gordon initially declined to speak on the subject, with his Discord channel mod team writing that the posts were "taken out of context" and that they do not have "the ability to comment on Zach's beliefs and opinions on current events," via X (formerly Twitter):

"Hi everyone, as some of you have commented on in the last few days there have been some posts on Twitter that call into question Zach's character or Zach's viewpoints on certain topics. Some of these were unfounded or taken out of context, but we as a mod team don't have the ability to comment on Zach's beliefs and opinions on current events. Furthermore, Zach has decided to not comment on these things at this time."

They added that they - as a mod team - did not "agree with silence as an approach," but could not do anything to change his decision to not talk to fans:

"While I know Zach to be kind and caring to all, a lack of clarity on this puts the mod team in a bind on how to address this within the server. We as a team do not agree with silence as an approach for handling this and have communicated that, but it is up to Zach to make his own choices."

A few days later, Gordon would eventually respond, posting in the same Discord server (via X) that he "wanted to foster a community that promotes love, kindness, creativity, and joy" and, in light of recent events, was closing down the Discord server:

"Personally, I've always wanted to foster a community that promotes love, kindness, creativity, and joy. It's been difficult to navigate the intensity and divisiveness that naturally encompasses discord as a whole, while simultaneously attempting to uphold these core values. That being said, my team and I have made the decision to close the server."

"[This] gives me the opportunity to re-center," and "solidify the safety, well-
being, and integrity of my fans, friends, and supporters," he continued, without ever expressly mentioning the origins of the drama itself:

"It gives me the opportunity to re-center and focus on my creative goals, and most importantly solidify the safety, well- being, and integrity of my fans, friends, and supporters. I'm truly grateful to have been able to form some meaningful connections with all of you, since the server's inception. I'll always cherish those moments. As always, please take care of yourselves."

The seeming lack of accountability from Gordon in his response to the controversy would then come under fire from fans, as many believed he skirted around the issues without ever addressing the criticisms being levied at him. 

Since then, fans have not heard from the actor, and his voice remains in Genshin Impact

It is worth noting that this is not the first time a Tighnari voice actor has been embroiled in controversy.

The reason Gordon became attached to the game at all, was after the original voice behind the character, Elliot Gindi, was fired from the title after he was accused of grooming and preying on fans (some of which were underage) in February 2023. 

Genshin Impact is free-to-play on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and mobile. 

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- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.