The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) plans to stop political donations in the wake of the storming of the United States’ capitol building by a right-wing, insurrectionist mob hellbent on keeping Donald Trump in power, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
“Given the events and actions that led to the violence at the U.S. Capitol, we are pausing contributions from the ESA PAC as we reflect on the tragedy and our path forward,” the ESA, which among other things oversees the ESRB and organizes E3, said in an official statement.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, the ESA has frequently donated to politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties since 2012, though the largest shares often went to Republicans. Several benefactors were connected to attempts to overturn or discredit Joe Biden’s victory in the most recent presidential election, including Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Bill Johnson (R-OH).
This isn’t the first time the ESA has publicly waded into politics. When Trump instituted a 2017 ban of travellers from a handful of Muslim-majority countries, the organisation acknowledged the importance of maintaining a global community in video game development. That same year, however, the ESA praised Trump’s tax plan, which largely cut corporate tax rates and put more money in the hands of the wealthy.
In 2018, the ESA got a little testier, saying that Trump’s labelling of Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” was “repulsive” and his “backward thinking” had no place in society.
That said, words are words, and donation records show that the ESA rarely puts its money where its mouth is. Here’s hoping this is the wake-up call the organisation needs to stop flirting with the arseholes who keep the United States locked in a constant storm of controversy and conspiracy.