After a controversial email last week, which PlayStation President Jim Ryan asked the staff In order to “respect differences of opinion” about abortion rights, a new report claims that Sony is currently refusing to agree to any statements its PlayStation studios might want to make on the subject of reproductive rights in response to a US Supreme Court motion to reverse the Roe v Wade ruling, where Insomniac president Ted Price went so far as to tell employees he thought there would be “material repercussions” if it went against Sony’s wishes.
according to A new report by the Washington Postdeveloper of Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank Insomniac, who was Acquired by Sony in 2020made the decision to donate $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP) following a recent US Supreme Court motion to reverse Roe v. Wade, a major ruling that legalized abortion nationwide — a donation that Sony has agreed to match, along with any Additional donations from employees, as part of the company’s “PlayStation Cares” program.
However, according to The Washington Post, Sony will not make any public statement Insomniac might want to make about reproductive rights or donate, and employees have been expressly prohibited from mentioning Sony or Insomniac in any retweets if WRRAP chooses to make a donation announcement. “[Sony Interactive Entertainment] You will not agree with any statements from any studio on the subject of reproductive rights,” Insomniac President Ted Price told studio staff in an email dated May 13. We fought hard for this and didn’t win.”
Price has been responding to earlier requests from Insomniac employees that management issue a public statement in support of women’s reproductive rights along the lines of shared ones. Destiny 2 Bungie developer And Psychonauts 2 Creator Double Finein the wake of recent US Supreme Court news.
Price went on to warn employees that he believed there would be “material repercussions for us as a wholly owned subsidiary” if the studio chose to go against Sony’s wishes. “Among other things, any progress we might make in helping to change [Sony Interactive Entertainment’s] He explained that the approach would be stopped dead in its tracks. “It is also possible that we will be severely restricted from doing important public facing work in the future.”
Price’s reference to help change Sony’s approach appears to be linked to a “nearly 60 pages” document that Insomniac reportedly sent to PlayStation Studios president Hermann Holst after the controversial email by Jim Ryan. The document is said to contain messages from Insomniac employees urging PlayStation leadership – Ryan in particular – to “do better by the employees directly affected”.
Ryan sparked outrage last week when, after referring to the US Supreme Court’s recent motion to repeal Row v Wade in an email to all employees, employees were told, “We owe it to each other and to millions of PlayStation users to respect the differences of opinion among everyone in our internal and external communities.” Reportedly, Ryan continued to write at length about his cats’ birthdays, leading some employees to accuse the PlayStation chief of disrespect and downplaying the issue of reproductive rights in messages seen by Bloomberg.
“Regarding our freedom of speech,” Price continued in response to a staff member’s question about whether Sony’s acquisition of Insomniac is now affecting studio values, “while we have a lot of autonomy that is often taken for granted, there are times when we need to Recognizing that we are part of a larger organization. For the most part, our ability to tweet has been unrestricted. However, there are rare times when we are in opposition (like this week) and the SIE has the last word.”
While Sony appears consistent in its refusal to make any public statement on reproductive rights, the Washington Post notes that the company is adapting more behind the scenes. It says Sony is currently working, in conjunction with Insomniac, to craft an initiative to provide financial assistance to any employee who may need to travel to a different country to receive reproductive care.