PlayStation’s President reportedly told staff to “respect differences of opinion” over the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade.
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Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports he obtained an email from Head of PlayStation Jim Ryan where he reportedly told staff to “respect differences of opinion,” and that PlayStation and its community are “multi-faceted and diverse, holding many different points of view.”
“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 continued. “Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a valued global brand.”
Ryan then reportedly added he “would like to share something lighthearted to help inspire everyone to be mindful of having balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events,” going into five detailed paragraphs about the first birthdays of his cats.
This included birthday cakes, the noises they made, and his hopes to one day get a dog. While it could be speculated this was anything from an attempt to cool tensions with a distraction, to a bizarre in-joke or metaphor, more context would be required.
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Nonetheless, Bloomberg reports employees at several PlayStation studios were dissatisfied with the email. A number of women reportedly felt their rights had been trivialized and disparaged, one reportedly saying they had “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.”
PlayStation’s attitude to respect different opinions can arguably be seen already. The company announced in January that they had entered into “definitive agreements to acquire Bungie” albeit noting that after the acquisition is finalized “Bungie will be an independent subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment.”
Bungie was one of the first major studios to declare that abortion is an “essential healthcare right,” and vowed to safeguard and support employees affected by the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade after a majority opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was circulated by Politico.
Yet it would seem not all differences of opinion are tolerated by Sony, PlayStation’s parent company. Earlier in March, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced they would not be releasing their films in Russia, due to the invasion of Ukraine, and in spite of the Russian people having little to no say in their government’s policies.
“Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region,” a Sony spokesperson stated, “we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.” They joined Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and other US media corporations.
In addition, PlayStation themselves also halted their services in Russia, along with Nintendo, Microsoft, and numerous other gaming companies.
A statement announcing their decision reads, “Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine.”
“We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia. To support humanitarian aid, Sony Group Corporation announced a US$2 million donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international NGO, Save the Children, to support the victims of this tragedy,” the statement added.
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As noted above, a Supreme Court draft opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito overturning Roe v. Wade was circulated by Politico in the beginning of May.
“We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey,” Justice Alito wrote. “And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly.”
“We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Alito stated.
The original Roe v. Wade case saw the Supreme Court rule that under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, the Constitution’s right to privacy also protected a woman’s right to have an abortion across all states.
“A state criminal abortion statue of the current Texas type, that excepts from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the ruling states.
While PlayStation is reportedly not taking a stance on this issue, numerous gaming aside from Bungie such as Double Fine Productions, Hinterland Games, ArenaNet, and Outerloop Games spoke against the law being overturned.
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