Another studio too cowardly to take a stand.
Electronic Arts logo

Electronic Arts is taking quite the cowardly approach to how they are handling a woman's right to abortion and essential healthcare. During a company-wide town hall meeting on May 24, EA management told staff that it could not take a stance on this issue, saying that "being an inclusive company means being inclusive of all those points of view."

That is one hell of a take.

Given the timing of this town hall meeting, one of the big issues on the minds of several employees was whether or not the company would release any sort of a statement in support of Roe v. Wade. As you probably know by now, Roe v. Wade may soon be overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States, a fact that was revealed through a recently leaked draft of this decision. Another topic brought up by employees during the meeting was if EA would make any statement about trans rights. This is another major issue facing the nation right now following a recent Texas order to investiage gender-affirming healthcare for minors to be considered "child abuse."

Citing a source familiar with EA's recent town hall, Kotaku reports that many employees "called on the company to make public statements in defense of both abortion and trans rights." Mala Singh, EA's chief people officer, said that the company will only say something when it will "actually have a positive impact" and when it is a "consistent perspective" among the company's 13,000 employees from all over the world.

"The thing about the world today is there is a lot of division, we know this right, we see it every single day, but the thing that unites us is that we’re all here to make amazing games and experiences for our players, and that is how we have the most positive impact on the world,” Singh said. “These things are hard and they’re personal and we all have our own perspectives and sometimes we won’t speak, and that will be upsetting and I understand that, we really do."
Since the Supreme Court's draft was leaked, a handful of companies have voiced their support for Roe v. Wade including companies such as Bungie, ArenaNet, Certain Affinity, and Double Fine. Other companies, such as Microsoft, said that they would pay for out-of-state travel should abortion be made illegal where employees live. Still others, such as PlayStation, have opted to remain publicly silent.

EA, in the days following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, released a statement that supported the Black Lives Matter movement. EA even went so far as to donate $1 million (USD) to organizations focused on racial justice. EA also released a statement that called for an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, wherein they said they "stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine."

Staff at EA reportedly feel as though EA only supports diversity and inclusivity when it's good for public relations, but they are "unwilling to take a stand when the stakes are more controversial." EA, for their part, did at least join Gearbox and other companies in sponsoring a full page ad in the Dallas Morning News that denounced the recent anti-LGBTQ+ efforts by Texas governor Greg Abbott. EA did not post this ad to any of their social media channels.

Employees at EA have been urged by Singh to make use of "healing circles."

"I know these have been tough issues, whether it’s the shootings that happened recently in the U.S., the Roe v Wade issues, these are hard,” Singh said. “And so, one of the other things you’re going to see is we’re going to be making some more healing circles available through modern health.

"But please know that every single time one of these things comes up we really put a great amount of care and thought into it, and consider multiple perspectives and then decide what’s in the best interest of EA and the various communities of stakeholders we have, including our people, our players, our fans and stakeholders, [and] our shareholders."
Between these remarks by Mala Singh at EA and the remarks offered by Jim Ryan at PlayStation, it really is a race to the bottom to see who has the smallest backbone in the games' industry. Better not risk upsetting a small segment of our customer base less we lose stock value!