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Scrabble bans racial and ethnic slurs from the board game

Hasbro is changing the official rules on Scrabble's box.

Scrabble is banning slurs from the game.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Hasbro, the board game giant that owns Scrabble, is banning the use of racial and ethnic slurs from its official word list. The crossword game will no longer allow derogatory language to be used while playing. 

"Hasbro Gaming is rooted in community and bringing people together, and we are committed to providing an experience that is inclusive and enjoyable for all," the company wrote in a release on Wednesday. "For that reason, Hasbro is changing the official rules of its Scrabble game to make clear that slurs are not permissible in any form of the game."

The crossword game uses the Merriam-Webster Scrabble Players Dictionary as its official word list in North America. Hasbro said that it first started removing offensive words in 1994 and continues to regularly review the full list.

The North American Scrabble Players Association, which uses a slightly different word list for its competitive tournaments, also agreed to ban the use of racial and ethnic slurs after a poll was taken by the association's members. 

The association's CEO John Chew said in a statement on Wednesday that Scrabble brings together a wide range of people and the association needs to do more to be inclusive. 

"As people have said across the spectrum of responses, removing slurs is the very least that we can do to make our association more inclusive," Chew said. "I will be reaching out to the community for suggestions in coming months, and look forward to working with everyone to make our community a larger and happier one."