PlayStation Boss Asks Staff To Respect All Abortion Opinions In Email About Cats

PlayStation Boss Asks Staff To Respect All Abortion Opinions In Email About Cats
Photo: Kotaku / Alex Wong, Getty Images

An internal email from PlayStation president Jim Ryan contains several paragraphs about cats, but doesn’t contain a hard stance in support of his staff’s reproductive rights, and even asks employees to “respect” anti-abortion views and opinions, leaving many PlayStation staff angry and upset.

As reported by Bloomberg earlier today and independently verified by Kotaku, an email from PlayStation boss Jim Ryan addressing the recently leaked Supreme Court draft signalling that the court will overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision went out to PlayStation employees Thursday, May 12. If the court does indeed overturn that historic case, it would allow states to begin banning abortions of all kinds across the United States, making it harder than ever for folks seeking abortions to get the care they need and deserve. However, while Ryan’s email opens with a mention of this seemingly imminent, devastating blow to reproductive rights, the PlayStation president avoids taking a side, instead asking staff to “respect differences of opinion” on both sides of the issue.

In the email, which Bloomberg has seen and Kotaku has confirmed was sent out to internally hired staff, Ryan writes that the company, its employees, and its players are a “multi-faceted and diverse” community and that they all hold “many different points of view.” He also wrote that staff and the company “owe it to each other and to PlayStation’s millions of users to respect differences of opinion among everyone in our internal and external communities. Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a valued global brand.”

Kotaku has contacted Sony and PlayStation about the email but didn’t hear back before publication.

Instead of taking a stance, promising to use his company’s resources to aid staff who might need abortions in the future, or at the very least offering a bland message of support for abortion rights, Ryan spent much of the email talking about his cats. Seriously.

After barely paying lip service to the destruction of safe, legal abortion access in the United States, Ryan wanted to share something that was “lighthearted” in an attempt to “inspire everyone to be mindful of having a balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events.” (Stress that a powerful president of a large company could perhaps more effectively ease by supporting his staff and their rights…)

He then spent a reported five paragraphs in the email talking about his two cats’ first birthdays, the noises they make, and his dream of one day owning a dog. Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier additionally reported via Twitter that Ryan wrote “that dogs really are man’s best friend, they know their place, and perform useful functions like biting burglars and chasing balls that you throw for them.” Kotaku also separately confirmed the content of this email and learned that Ryan also wrote about missing his travels to Japan, and watching Anatomy of a Scandal

Read More: Tripwire CEO ‘Steps Down’ After Supporting Anti-Abortion Law

As you might expect, some staff weren’t happy with the email. Bloomberg reports that internal discussion about the email was negative, with many sharing their anger and disappointment over the tone of the letter and its lack of a stance in support of reproductive rights. One employee reportedly wrote that they had “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.” Some women at the company allegedly wrote that they felt their rights had been disrespected or even trivialized by Ryan’s email.

While PlayStation and Jim Ryan seem unable or unwilling to offer more concrete support for abortion access and the rights of women in the United States, Bungie has taken a much different approach.

The Destiny developer has spent the past week and a half on Twitter, publicly supporting access to abortion, condemning the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, and even taking on angry gamers who don’t like the idea of studios supporting their employees and their bodily rights. Under the circumstances, it’s interesting to note that PlayStation is planning to buy Bungie for $US3.6 ($5) billion. (Kotaku also reached out to Bungie for this story, but didn’t receive a response before publication.) I’m curious if Sony and PlayStation will be ok with the studio continuing to be so publicly supportive of abortion rights once the sale is complete.

Comments

  • Asking a human being to ‘respect’ the opinion of oppressive sexist anti-science illogical mouth-breathing is downright despicable. He should grow a damn spine instead.

    • Get a grip! Are you outraged that people might have a different opinion on the issue of abortion? It is not a right or wrong issue.

      • You must be new here, Ody is the sites resident System of a downs second album being played on repeat endlessly on max volume, doesnt matter on what his opinion is, he will express it the same way, every time.

      • You can have an opinion on abortions, as long as that opinion only impacts any abortions you do or don’t have.

        Opinions on other people’s abortions, and you can mind your own business, because that’s not your body.

        Bodily autonomy IS a right or wrong issue, this isn’t a grey area.

      • It is only a right or wrong issue if some reason you think the very real issue of female body autonomy has anything to do with the very intangible opinion of someone else’s personal faith.

        Why should someone’s faith, decide what someone else who doesn’t share that BELIEF should do with their body?

  • You do realise by blackmailing a company into taking a stance on an issue it means that stance is without merit and entirely dishonest. They won’t hold that stance because they truly believe in it, they will take a stance just to avoid bad PR from activist journalists.

    Basically virtue signalling.

  • Smart move. At least this way he doesn’t have to pretend to take a stand one way or the other. Leave the serious issues to the politicians.

    • Don’t you mean the supposedly impartial highest court in the land, that is making a religious decision that based on political and religious bias, on something that should be an entirely secular choice.

      • Hi blake

        If the US Supreme court was heavily biased towards democrats would you still be making the same argument about it being biased if it continually ruled in favour of things you want?

        Something tells me you wouldn’t. You don’t want an impartial court, You want lackeys.

        • Oh course I would because the highest court in any form of democracy shouldn’t be tainted by such blatant and influenced corruption. It doesn’t matter what side of a political or religious divide one sits, there is supposed to be a separation of church and state for very good reasons.

          Sorry this doesn’t match with the argumentative opinion you wanted. I presume such ethics were commonsense.

          • Tbh huge respect that you are consistent in that ideal.

            Genuinely appreciate it. Few people would be like that

          • I don’t think you understand what the separation of church and state means.

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