Sony subsidiary Insomniac secures new policy, donations for reproductive rights

Following Sony's disastrous email last week


Last week, we covered a Washington Post article that sharply criticized the gaming industry for its almost complete silence on the likely overturn of Roe v. Wade. Apart from studios like Bungie and ArenaNet (and Activision-Blizzard and Microsoft, which issued statements only in response to the paper), the major companies WAPO spoke to avoided taking a public stand on the matter of reproductive health rights and bodily autonomy for women and other birthing people, which is striking given the industry’s public support for other political causes and given the role of health care in corporate America.

The same day that article released and called out those silent companies, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment and PlayStation boss Jim Ryan released an internal email insisting that his workers, including those whose bodily autonomy is being debated, “owe it to each other and to PlayStation’s millions of users to respect differences of opinion” on said bodily autonomy, and then he went on to spend multiple paragraphs discussing his pets, which depending upon the charitability of your read can be taken as a mood-lifter or a dog-whistle. Gamers, to say nothing of the workers, were not amused.

In fact, some of those workers were so not amused that at least one of Sony’s subsidiaries is in open rebellion. According to a new WAPO report, Insomniac Games decided to break ranks, penning a 60-ish-page letter to the company and pledging a $50,000 donation to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, which Sony will be obligated to match through its internal program.

According to WAPO, however, Insomniac has been forbidden from making statements “on the topic of reproductive rights” (“We fought hard for this and we did not win,” Insomniac CEO Ted Price told staff); workers were further “forbidden from explicitly mentioning Insomniac or Sony should they decide to retweet any announcements” that the donation recipient might make, suggesting that other subsidiaries are likewise muzzled.

Perhaps the best outcome that Insomniac has apparently secured is medical travel assistance for workers, which is a bit late in coming but welcome all the same.

“In addition, Sony now plans to formulate an initiative to provide financial assistance to employees who might have to travel to different states to receive reproductive care. Insomniac will aid in formulating that policy.”

Source: WAPO
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