It turns out that Tawna’s vanishing act was actually a result of corporate backlash. During an interview with fan-site Crash Mania, Jason Rubin the co-founder of Naughty Dog and the Crash Bandicoot series, explained that there was a lot of drama regarding Tawna’s character design. Rubin said that Naughty Dog originally wanted to make Tawna cartoonishly sexy, similar to Jessica Rabbit. However, when this design caught the eyes of the marketing director of Universal Interactive (the game’s publisher), she became very upset, believing Tawna’s design to be sexist.
”She called me into the office and yelled at me that women were not to be objectified in such manners, and that no real woman would ever wear such clothing,” Rubin said. “She also insisted that as of that date ‘no video game would ever be successful because of a sexy woman ever again.’”
The marketing director’s outrage stirred up so much trouble that the president of Universal forced Naughty Dog to tone down Tawna’s design. The final result ended up being a version of Tawna that Rubin described as a “disaster.” Unsatisfied with the design, Naughty Dog decided to completely drop Tawna from future entries.