The emotional meltdown starts when the head of PlayStation demands respect.
It is widely accepted that abortion is a topic that triggers strong emotional reactions. These emotions are normal, but they can also cloud rationality and pragmatic analysis. A corporate letter written by a CEO to address the issue within his company is a good example of this. Both inside and outside of the company have strong reactions to his inaction on the subject. They are calling for calm, understanding, and forgiveness.
Jason Schreier, Bloomberg News’s reporter, gives an update on the issue of gaming companies being forced to participate in the national abortion debate. Jeff Charles reported on how the Washington Post tried to use the video gaming industry to fight for Roe vs Wade.
This is the motivation behind this. The news outlets must maintain an appearance of objectivity. However, if they can convince companies to oppose the rollback, they will be able to report on it in a manner that suits their narrative. Industry leaders could be the proxy voice for the press and opposition to pro-life positions could be reported freely. One corporate leader is refusing to take the bait.
Schreier reports that some employees of Sony Corporation are “seething” over an email sent by PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan to them regarding their corporate position on abortion. Ryan did not take any position. Ryan stated in that email that “PlayStation president Jim Ryan did not take a position on abortion rights.” Ryan instead took a more serious approach to the subject, noting that there are many opinions and that everyone has a right.
We owe it to each other, and to PlayStation’s millions of users, to respect differing opinions among all members of our internal and externe communities. Respect is not the same as agreement. It is essential to our company’s identity and global standing.
Ryan added a long section about his cats to these comments.
His non-comment and calls for respect and decency were met with outrage. Instead of placing his company in the middle of the culture war, he has remained focused on his company’s mission statement, which is to sell video games and consoles. Ryan is being criticized for this. However, the simple truth is that Ryan’s emotions are not balanced. Ryan would not be able to tell you his position on abortion.
Schreier reveals that he was privy to some internal communications. These messages show this particular emotional hysteria. “In internal conversations viewed by Bloomberg which haven’t been previously reported,” employees at various PlayStation studios voiced their dissatisfaction at the tone and content of the email. They were upset that a man is calling for respect among people and to appreciate people’s individual opinions. Ryan is far more displeased than Ryan.
Schreier said that some women were particularly upset by the email. “Some women complained that their rights were being ignored or trivialized in the email.” This is just a glimpse of the emotional cloud that clouds rationality. Ryan repeatedly and explicitly called out to everyone to respect them.
Anyone could overlook this if they approach the issue from the perspective that if someone doesn’t automatically agree with your views, they will be perceived as hostile and antagonistic. They end up showing the exact reaction that inspired Ryan to make non-committal, conciliatory statements for the company.
As a CEO, there is no way to win this issue. You will anger those on the opposite side if you take a position. If you don’t make a statement, there will be criticisms and pressure that you are somehow depriving the voices on your side of the support. Jim Ryan, by refusing to take a position and calling for understanding, managed to provide a mirror that exposed some of the people who are acting out of emotional idiocy.
You have already admitted that you don’t care about the CEO’s call for respect and decency. You’ve also exempted everyone from having to hear your thoughts on this topic.