After prolonged internal discussions, Electronic Arts released a statement in support of the rights of transgender people and women Friday.
Chief People Officer Mala Singh had previously resisted calls for EA to take a public stance, telling employees the company would only do so when it would "actually have a positive impact," per a report from Kotaku. EA has now published an email from her to employees taking a different tack.
"Over the last week, we've had conversations with many members of our LGBTQ+ community. Personal stories were shared, as well as unfiltered and real feedback for EA leadership," she wrote. "In my comments last week, I never intended to imply that we were stepping back from our long-standing support of LGBTQ+ rights, but I understand that’s how it landed for members of this community."
"As a company, we are united that Trans Rights are Human Rights. Women's Rights are Human Rights," she continued. "Our support is unwavering for our people, our players, and our LGBTQ+ communities"
Singh's comments come after weeks of turmoil in the games industry caused by wider political realities. A draft Supreme Court decision leaked in early May indicated the Court plans to strike down Roe v. Wade, revoking a woman's right to an abortion nation-wide. At the same time, the government of Texas moved to classify gender-affirming healthcare as child abuse.
Several companies made statements in support of women's and trans rights, including Bungie and Texas-based Certain Affinity, but EA held off. The company reportedly held several discussions with employees about how to proceed, with many pressuring the company to take a stand.
Those discussions led first to prominent executives making statements of their own earlier this week, and then to Friday's statement. It arrives just days into Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
"I want to acknowledge the pain and fear that our LGBTQ+, specifically our Transgender community, is experiencing in light of emerging legislation in the US and the ongoing attacks on their human rights. We will continue to strive for a safe and supportive workplace, and as a leadership team, we want to be clear about what we stand for," Singh wrote. She highlighted that EA had supported the ACLU, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Out and Equal over the last five years.
"In honor of Pride month, we will be donating and making a 2:1 match available in support of these organizations on the frontlines working to preserve human rights for this community. We will also be hosting a discussion with Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, to discuss the evolving legislative landscape and how we all can engage for positive change," Singh wrote.