Sony Donating $50k To Abortion Rights Group After Jim Ryan Email
It was the email heard around the world, and one that could cost Sony $50k... at the very least. As the gaming industry joins the abortion debate, big companies like Sony and Microsoft are called to task and told to pick a side for their staff to stand by or against.
If you didn't already know, Sony CEO Jim Ryan waded into the debate on women's rights and abortions, sending a poorly timed email asking employees to "respect differences of opinion." Ryan sitting on the fence was already a point of contention, but things were made worse by him proceeding to waffle about his cats instead of the important issues surrounding abortions and a woman's chance to choose.
Why Is Sony Donating $50k?
According to The Washington Post, Sony has vowed to match a $50k donation made from Insomniac Games to the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP). The developer is one of Sony's big first-party acquisitions and is currently working on Marvel's Spider-Man 2 alongside a currently untitled Wolverine game. If Sony matches the donation, it means the WRRAP will be given $100k for its cause.
This is just the start though. The site goes on to say Sony will continue matching any further donations made by Insomniac employees through the PlayStation Cares program. Finally, Sony reportedly has plans to develop its own program for financial support for employees that have to travel out of state for reproductive health care.
The Washington Post has apparently viewed an internal email sent by Insomniac CEO Ted Price. Part of this was structured as a Q&A but started with Price saying he sent a "near 60-page" document to PlayStation's Hermen Hulst. It was filled with calls from employees asking for the likes of Ryan to "do better by employees who are directly affected." Price reiterates that Insomniac and Sony won't be publicly acknowledging the donations, while Insomniac employees are told not to mention either its employer or the larger Sony umbrella in social media posts about WRRAP.
What Are Other Gaming Companies Saying?
The industry has largely stood by women in the aftermath of the leaked Supreme Court opinion to overturn 1973's landmark Roe v. Wade case that effectively legalised abortion across the United States. Still, in an era where the gaming world showed an almost united front on the Black Lives Matter movement, some remain silent about where they stand on abortion rights.
Other Sony studios have made their feelings clear, with the recently acquired Bungie calling Roe v. Wade's potential repeal a "blow to freedom in America" and "a direct attack on human rights." Although critics told the developer to stick to making games, many thanked it for supporting women.
Sony rival Microsoft has also pledged to support abortion services and gender-affirming care. The already troubled Activision Blizzard has also been called out for giving a stock response. As the days continue and more publishers rally behind their female workers, the situation is sure to remain a controversial topic of debate.