Employees should “respect differences of opinion,” PlayStation president Jim Ryan said in an email reportedly sent to employees earlier today, writing that the company is “multi-faceted and diverse, holding many different points of view.”
As reported by Bloomberg, the message was apparently intended to respond to the current firestorm concerning abortion rights, which began when a Supreme Court draft opinion striking down Roe vs. Wade was revealed in an unprecedented leak.
Since then, multiple game developers have released statements on the matter, including Double Fine Games, which is owned by Xbox Game Studios. The most strident of them has been Destiny 2 creator Bungie, which said that it supports “essential healthcare rights” in a lengthy blog on its official site.
“Bungie is committed to safeguarding the freedom and privacy of its employees and providing support to all employees affected by this decision,” the developer wrote. “Standing up for reproductive choice and liberty is not a difficult decision to make, and Bungie remains dedicated to upholding these values.”
Bungie was acquired by PlayStation earlier this year, but the deal has yet to be finalized.
Ryan, for his part, reportedly wrote that “we 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.”
Ryan then pivoted to talking about “something lighthearted to help inspire everyone to be mindful of having balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events,” where he went on to talk about his pets, including his two cats’ first birthday.
In the wake of the email, Bloomberg reportedly viewed internal discussions that included women saying they felt disrespected or trivialized by the message, including one who reportedly said they’d “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.”
IGN has reached out to Sony and will update this email with any response.
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Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.