Bungie Supports Pro-Choice Statement in the Face of Reported Sony “Muzzle”
Dylan Gafner, Bungie’s Senior Community Manager, is better known as “dmg04” and asserts that the company will not change its pro-choice stance towards reproductive rights. He tweeted that on May 17th, “There won’t be a muzzle big enough to stop me from standing up for the right.” Soon after, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons reiterated this position and replied with a simple “yes.”
This muzzle most likely refers to Sony Interactive Entertainment, which is currently trying to buy Halo and Destiny, creators. According to a Bloomberg report last Wednesday, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan sent out a memo to employees asking them to respect differences in abortion opinion. He then changed topics to several paragraphs about his cats. The message was not only poorly received by fans but also employees and left them unsure about how to proceed. More reports have been submitted regarding Sony’s internal response. They claim that studios were asked to remain silent about donations to abortion rights charities.
According to a Washington Post report, Insomniac, the developer of Sony titles such as Spider-Man and Rachet, plans to donate $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. Insomniac employees cannot mention Insomniac and Sony if the WWRAP makes any announcement. According to reports, all Sony’s internal development team employees have been told not to tweet about this issue. Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac, said that he opposed the move, saying, “We fought hard for it and we didn’t win.” Sony plans to match Insomniac’s donations, however. They are also planning to offer financial assistance to employees who might have to travel to receive reproductive care.
Bungie’s original statement supports reproductive rights, contrary to Sony’s mixed messaging. They also assert that Roe V. Wade is an “attack on freedom in America” and a “blow to human rights,” but they also say that it is easy to stand up for reproductive choice.
Bungie has a fairly standard procedure. According to reports, the company has dealt with internal problems. However, the live game developer has not shied away from making its position on social issues public as well as in the past. It sold several Black Lives Matter-themed collectible pins and in-game Destiny emblems for 2020. All profits were donated towards the Equal Justice Initiative.
It is pretty refreshing to see a company stand up against injustices in America when safety and freedom seem more uncertain. This is a rare act of public support by a significant industry player. It would be shameful if Sony acquired the company with a “muzzle.”