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Last week, an email sent by Ryan urged staff at PlayStation to “respect differences of opinion” in regards to news that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that makes abortion legal in the U.S. at a federal level.
In the same email, Ryan started to discuss his cats’ birthdays, their cakes, and talked about wanting to get a dog. This sparked internal backlash, as women within PlayStation felt their rights were being trivialised by the email.
Following this, Washington Post has reported that Sony subsidiary Insomniac will donate £40,000 ($50,000) to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP). According to an internal email seen by Washington Post, Sony will match the donation and is now working on an initiative to provide financial aid to employees who may have to travel between states to find reproductive care.
However, neither company has plans to announce the initiative on social media, which appears to be caused by a dispute between Insomniac and Sony.
While Insomniac wants to join other gaming companies in expressing support for reproductive rights, an internal email from Insomniac CEO Ted Price says Sony “will not approve any statements from any studio on the topic of reproductive rights,” and says the studio could face “material repercussions” for going against Sony’s wishes and making a statement.
“We fought hard for this and we did not win,” added Price.
“As far as our freedom of speech goes, while we do have a lot of autonomy that often gets taken for granted, there are times where we need to acknowledge we’re part of a larger organization,” said Price, who added that “there are rare times when we’re in opposition (like this week) and [Sony] will have the final say.”