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Respawn and Maxis leaders voice support for transgender rights

Although individual leaders have spoken out, fresh reports suggest EA workers want the publisher to take a collective stand.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 1, 2022

2 Min Read
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Respawn Entertainment general manager, Vince Zampella, and Maxis' VP franchise creative on The Sims, Lyndsay Pearson, have voiced their support for transgender rights on social media.

Both reportedly chose to speak out following an internal meeting that saw EA execs pressured for answers as to why the U.S. publisher doesn't do more to publicly support important causes.

"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," wrote Zampella earlier this week.

Those sentiments were echoed by Pearson, who wrote that "women’s rights are human rights. Transgender rights are human rights. Maxis and The Sims value diversity, equality and inclusion in our core and we strive to bring this to life through our teams and our work. We see you and we stand with you."

According to a report from Kotaku, those messages of solidarity were posted online following an internal roundtable discussion at EA -- the parent company of Respawn and Maxis -- during which executives were asked why the publisher seems content to stay relatively quiet on key issues.

EA chief DEI officer Asha George and chief operating officer for EA Studios Kate Kellogg apparently led the meeting, which focused on LGTBQ+ issues, but failed to adequately explain why the influential company hasn't spoken out more on topics like abortion and transgender rights.

Those sources suggested Kellogg and George merely reiterated remarks from a recent internal town hall meeting, during which chief people offer Mala Singh said that in order for EA to be an "inclusive" company it must tolerate all points of view.

Like Singh, it seems Kellogg and George tried to steer the conversation towards what EA can do to support the specific healthcare needs of employees.

When asked for comment by Kotaku, an EA spokesperson said the company's support for the LGBTQIA+ and trans communities is "long-standing and enduring, and has been shared widely and publicly."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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