EA and its support of queer people, most notably trans people in the midst of attacks on their bodily autonomy, has been a big story this week as we begin Pride Month. Specifically because employees had to threaten a walkout to be allowed to publicly voice support for trans people after the company internally said it wouldn’t be making any public statements. Once the walkout was in the works, EA changed its social media protocols to allow some public support. However, social media employees were told their statements “may not be political in nature,” meaning we’re not seeing explicit references to things like Texas’ recent ruling that could have parents seeking gender-affirming care for their children investigated for child abuse. But employees began speaking out in support of trans people, and Apex Legends developer Respawn even put a statement in the game itself. Now that all this internal strife has gone on, EA has finally put out a public statement on its…wait let me check…its “unwavering” support for the queer community.
We stand united ???? ????
Click the link to learn more. ???? : https://t.co/BClpsUj2vJ pic.twitter.com/ZwQ7K64021
— Electronic Arts (@EA) June 3, 2022
The statement posted to the company’s website was also sent to EA employees as part of a weekly communications update from Chief People Officer Mala Singh. In it, she addressed her own comments during a town hall meeting last week where she talked about EA’s decision to not make a public stance regarding trans rights and abortion rights. Specifically saying, “we all have our own perspectives and sometimes we won’t speak, and that will be upsetting and I understand that, we really do.”
“In my comments last week, I never intended to imply that we were stepping back from our long-standing support of LGBTQ+ rights, but I understand that’s how it landed for members of this community. I am grateful for the openness and courage to engage, and I am also hopeful that we can keep our conversations productive and healthy. They make us better.”
Singh’s message goes on to say EA will be donating and making a 2:1 match available to support LGBTQIA+ organizations during June, including ACLU, GLAAD, The Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Out and Equal. The company will also be hosting a discussion with Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings to discuss the legislative issues happening in America so employees can learn more about how they can help fight for positive change.
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- I Have Complicated Feelings About the Xbox Pride Line
- Intimate Space: The State of Queerness in Mass Effect
- The Last of Us Part II Illustrates How Queer Spaces Are Not a Monolith
Ultimately, the walkout shouldn’t have even been necessary to begin with, but I’m happy for the EA employees who fought to kick the company in the ass and make this change. Now it can do right by both queer people generally through donating to these organizations, but more specifically do right by its own queer employees. Working for an company that won’t even allow you to speak out for yourself and people like you is incredibly dehumanizing, and I’m happy those people can now feel a little more supported by their colleagues.