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Sony doesn’t want you to know that it’s donating $100K for reproductive rights

Sony doesn’t want you to know that it’s donating $100K for reproductive rights


Sony is requiring studios to keep quiet

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Insomniac Games, which is part of Sony’s PlayStation Studios, plans to donate $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), according to an internal email sent on May 13th by its CEO Ted Price, as reported by The Washington Post. Sony itself plans to match the donation for a total of $100,000, and employees of Insomniac can make donations through Sony’s PlayStation Cares program. Additionally, The Washington Post reports that Sony is working on plans to provide financial assistance to employees who may have to travel to other states to receive abortions and other reproductive care.

There’s a major wrinkle to this news, though. The Washington Post reports that neither Insomniac Games nor Sony plans to publicize its donations, likely to avoid seeming like they’re taking a stance publicly. What’s more, the Post writes that “Insomniac employees have been forbidden from explicitly mentioning Insomniac or Sony should they decide to retweet any announcements the WRRAP might make.”

These donations come a week after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan sent an infuriatingly tone-deaf email to staff in response to the recent news that the Roe v. Wade case may be overturned. In the email, which was originally reported on by Bloomberg, he stated that employees should “respect differences of opinion” and then proceeded to talk about his cats’ birthdays and why he enjoys dogs. Understandably, for employees who wanted the company to take a pro-choice stance (as the soon-to-be-Sony-owned Bungie did), this email did the opposite of providing assurance during an especially turbulent time.

While the news of the donation is good, it’s likely that the large amount of red tape being wound around the topic of reproductive rights isn’t sitting well with some employees. Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price wrote in an email to staff that Sony “will not approve ANY statements from any studio on the topic of reproductive rights. We fought hard for this and we did not win.”

When asked what would happen if Insomniac employees choose to tweet about its donation, Price wrote that “There would be material repercussions for us as a wholly owned subsidiary” and that the company would “probably be severely restricted from doing important public-facing work in the future.”