Tech companies have reacted differently to the impending end of Roe V Wade. While most have remained silent on the issue, some have come out strongly against the Supreme Court’s (draft) opinion. The game developer Bungie denounced what it sees as “a blow to freedom in America and is a direct attack on human rights.” Microsoft and Amazon have gone a step further, pledging to cover traveling costs and other expenses for any employee who has to travel to another state to get an abortion.
PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan probably wishes that he’d kept silent himself. Instead, as Bloomberg was first to report, he put out a company memo addressing both the death of Roe … and the recent birthday of his cats.
Without expressing his own position on Roe, he began by asking employees to keep cool. “[W]e 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,” he wrote.
And then he decided to lighten the mood a little bit by talking about his kitties.
Ryan told employees that 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,” saying it was recently his two cats’ first birthday and elaborating over the next [five] paragraphs about his cats’ birthday cakes, their noises and his desire to one day get a dog.
This infuriated more than a few employees, Bloomberg notes, who were taken aback by his weirdly oblivious tone in dealing with an issue that is literally a matter of life and death for pregnant people.
In internal discussions viewed by Bloomberg, which haven’t been previously reported, employees at several PlayStation studios expressed their displeasure at the tone of the email. Some women wrote that they felt their rights were disrespected or trivialized by the message. One employee said they’d “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.”
As loath as I am to admit it. there are times when it is inappropriate to talk about your kitties, or to post pictures of them wearing little hats. This was one of them.
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