Everybody Hates PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan’s Memo on Abortion Rights

This is one context I don't want to hear about a cat birthday party.

The games industry is working its way through public acknowledgements of the possibility that the Supreme Court may be overturning laws to ban abortion, but Sony’s Jim Ryan has reportedly given an internal statement to the company that has caused him to trip and fall into a pit that not even his undoubtedly cute cats can pull him out of.

Bloomberg reports that PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan sent an internal email to employees to “respect differences of opinion” on whether or not people with a uterus should be allowed to govern their own bodies and terminate pregnancies as they saw fit. The report says this was immediately followed by five paragraphs talking about his two cats and celebrating their first birthday.

The email, which Bloomberg has verified, opened by addressing the US Supreme Court opinion leak, which alludes to attempts to overturn the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which has kept abortion legal in the United States for nearly 50 years. Ryan stopped short of taking any personal stance, but called PlayStation’s workers and players “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. Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a valued global brand.”

Ryan followed up with what he called “something lighthearted to help inspire everyone to be mindful of having balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events,” and went on to talk about his cats, their birthday cakes, and how he wants to also get a dog today.

As one could imagine, a lot of workers at PlayStation were less than thrilled with both Ryan’s lack of a definitive stance in support of bodily autonomy, as well as the whiplash of pivoting into talking about his pets. Bloomberg viewed internal discussion from PlayStation employees who felt their rights were being “disrespected or trivialized.” One said they’d “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.” Because why would you ever be mad about a cat birthday except in this extremely weird, tone deaf circumstance?

All of this comes off the heels of Bungie, a Sony-owned studio, coming out in support of abortion rights in a public statement. Much to the chagrin of people who want the Destiny developer to “stick to games.” Not that it stopped the company from publicly pushing back against those kinds of comments.