PlayStation boss Jim Ryan angers employees over abortion comments

Ryan then talked about his cats' birthdays and desire to get a dog

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan has upset staff at PlayStation over his comments concerning abortion rights.

Ryan sent an email to employees yesterday (May 12) urging staff to “respect differences of opinion” in regards to the ongoing abortion rights issue in the US. The PlayStation boss then went into five paragraphs of detail about the birthdays of his two cats (via Bloomberg).

Unlike developers such as Bungie and Double Fine, Ryan didn’t take a firm stance on abortion rights, instead mentioning how Sony’s staff is “multi-faceted and diverse, holding many different points of view.”

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“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,” Ryan added in the email. “Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a valued global brand.”

Ryan’s comments about his cats followed as a way to share something “lighthearted” that could help employees find a balance between “uncertain world events”. He followed with discussion of his cats’ birthdays, their cakes, noises, and his desire to even get a dog.

PlayStation Studios
PlayStation Studios. Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Multiple studio staffers expressed anger at Ryan’s comments, with one telling Bloomberg they’d “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.”

These comments follow the leaking of a US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protects abortion at the federal level in the country. Overturning Roe v. Wade would mean that each US state can decide its own law on abortion rights, with some poised to make abortion illegal.

The games industry has remained largely silent in regards to the Roe v. Wade news, although Double Fine Productions did say on May 6 that it is “steadfast in our support of essential healthcare rights for all.”

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This follows similar comments from Bungie, who said the potential ruling is “a blow to freedom in America and is a direct attack on human rights” on May 4.

In other news, publisher 505 Games has announced its first-ever digital showcase for next week, which will include game updates and new reveals.

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