Employees at Electronic Arts threatened to quit due to the company’s inaction during Pride Month.
The plan was expressed in a message sent to EA’s internal Slack group, which I have seen GamesIndustry.bizIn June, employees expressed shared concern about the publisher’s ambiguous plans to support LGBTQ+ initiatives.
In the same letter, employees threatened to quit if the company didn’t take enough action to support a blog post about its upcoming Pride celebrations.
“If we see the Rainbow Company wash its logo without making any substantive statement in support of transgender people who are being abused nationally in the United States and elsewhere, especially after stating that the company does not want to make any statement that is not supported by the diverse views of our 13,000 employees. We went out en masse on Friday, June 3rd.”
“Just slapping a rainbow on our logo in June without any broader action would be unacceptable.”
Shortly after the message was shared, another email was sent to EA’s social teams providing details of what employees can and can’t post during Pride Month.
“As most of you know, when June 1 arrives, many businesses tend to celebrate pride – often with a limited effort beyond the rainbow of laundering their social account profiles,” the email read. “As we head into the month, we want to make sure that our efforts to celebrate Pride are meaningful.”
The email did not detail what specific action the company intends to take, but said that “more will be shared this week” on what EA plans to celebrate Pride internally.
It also included guidance on what EA leaders, studios, and franchises can do to support Pride externally.
Guidelines, which have been seen before GamesIndustry.biz He stated that messages and graphics shared online “may not be of a political nature”, and requested that a copy/suggested graphics be submitted to EA’s corporate communications team for review before being shared.
EA says it “highly recommends activities beyond verbal support for Pride,” which include sharing in-game activities related to the cause, and directing players toward resources to learn about Pride. Employees are also encouraged to share other efforts EA has made historically to support Pride.
In the FAQ section, the email gives EA employees and the brand’s social channels permission to tweet and retweet social posts in support of LGBTQIA+ and transgender rights, “provided they are original to your community and brand.”
One employee, who preferred to remain anonymous, told us that the schedule for these events “seems very hectic and is being pieced together haphazardly in an effort to prevent withdrawals.”
This email follows a company roundtable held on May 24, during which the company stated that it would not take a position on topics such as transgender rights and abortion rights. During town hall, EA Chief Executive Mala Singh said the company will only speak when it is having a “really positive impact,” and the message has a “steadfast perspective” across EA’s 13,000-strong global workforce.
“The thing going on around the world today is that there are a lot of divisions, we know this right, we see it every day, but the thing that unites us is that we are all here to deliver amazing games and experiences to our players,” Singh said at the time, according to a text obtained by Kotaku: “This is how we make the most positive impact on the world.”
“This stuff is tough and it’s personal and we all have our own views and sometimes we don’t talk, and that would be upsetting and I understand that, we really do.”
Despite this, Respawn President Vince Zampella Post a Tweet to support transgender rights earlier this week.
“Trans rights are human rights,” Zampella wrote. “It’s that simple. Respawn has grown on the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion and strives to uphold these values. Let’s be better human beings.”
Modernization: An EA employee has since said that the strike – originally intended to draw attention to the hypocrisy of rainbow-washing while refusing to make a broader public statement – was called off after EA leadership said it would not adopt a company-wide rainbow logo. Pride month.