Apex Legends and Battlefield developer Respawn Entertainment has shared a tweet in support of Pride and transgender rights, a bold move in the face of parent company EA’s continued silence.
While EA has yet to make a statement about its support for prominent social issues, Respawn continues to make its position clear through both its official channels and the accounts of its employees. The most recent tweet, shared earlier today, reads: “At Respawn, we strive to be inclusive in the games we create and how we treat our employees and our players. Inaction is a choice and hurts those we care for.” It included an image of some of the LGBTQ+ characters in Apex with an additional statement that ended in an all-caps “Trans rights are human rights.”
The tweet is the most recent representation of friction between EA and the employees of its subsidiary studios. As reported by Kotaku, Respawn head Vince Zampella tweeted yesterday, “Trans rights are human rights. It is as simple as that. Respawn has grown on the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion and strives to uphold those values. Let’s be better humans.” VP of franchise creative for The Sims Lyndsay Pearson, who works for EA subsidiary studio Maxis, made a similar statement on Twitter.
The tweets followed an internal meeting at EA that addressed the company’s silence on prominent social issues like transgender rights and the right to abortion, particularly on the eve of Pride month. EA staff is frustrated that the company won’t make a public statement in support of its views, to which EA upper management responded that trans rights and the right to abortion don’t have enough internal support throughout the company for it to take a public stance.
Employees reportedly threatened to walk out over EA’s unspecified plans for Pride month and concerns that the company would simply “rainbow-wash” its logo during June, after which the company sent out an email to employees detailing what they could share on social media for Pride. While the email “strongly recommends” participating in “activities that go beyond verbalising support for Pride,” employees do not seem to be satisfied with the company’s inaction so far.