Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that PlayStation CEO, Jim Ryan, had sent an internal email to the company’s employees regarding the controversial leaked document revealing that the Supreme Court of the United States is considering overturning Roe v. Wade, a legal decision that allows women the constitutional right to an abortion. Within the email, Ryan requested that employees respect “differences of opinion” in regards to the surrounding controversy over the news about Roe, especially the protests that have spawned after the leak. Ryan proceeded to then state that since PlayStation is a “multi-faceted and diverse” workplace,
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.
Unsurprisingly, Ryan’s neutrality on a sensitive issue was upsetting for some, particularly because other companies, like Sony-acquired Bungie, have been vocal in supporting Roe v. Wade. However, others felt Ryan had completely trivialized the current predicament women face by proceeding to write another five “detailed” paragraphs about his personal life and cats’ birthdays. Ryan wrote that he, “would like to share something lighthearted to help inspire everyone to be mindful of having balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events,” and confirmed by both Bloomberg and Kotaku, he then proceeded to describe his two cats’ birthday cakes and the noises they make. Additionally, Ryan also mentions his desire to one day own a dog because, “dogs really are man’s best friend, they know their place, and perform useful functions like biting burglars and chasing balls that you throw for them.” Lastly, Ryan reportedly also wrote about missing his travels to Japan before the COVID-19 pandemic, and watching Netflix’s Anatomy of a Scandal.
Predictably, some employees were irritated that Ryan had spent a significant portion of an emailing discussing the future of women’s rights about his pets, and that his attitude was “lighthearted”. Bloomberg reports that several female employees were “displeased with [Ryan’s] tone” and felt Ryan had “disrespected” their rights. One employee told Bloomberg, that they had “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.”