PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan sent out an internal email telling employees at the company that it was important to treat differing views on abortion respectfully and he did not take a position either way. He also spent a good portion of the email talking about his cats. Given how abortion is a hot-button issue, it was inevitable that some people would get offended. And they did. There were internal complaints about the tone of the email and its content.
Ryan was undoubtedly trying to walk a fine line with the issue, given recent developments in Florida with Disney. The Walt Disney Company came out strongly against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill. The pushback was severe, with the Florida legislature stripping Disney of the special privileges granted by the state. There have also been rumblings in Congress about removing the special copyright protections that Disney enjoys.
Corporations have been able to embrace woke policies without consequence the last few years, but the political winds are shifting. This may have been the reason behind Ryan not taking a position or urging his employees to be understanding of competing views. Other corporations may be following suit.
Netflix experienced a near mutiny internally over Comedian Dave Chappelle’s comedy special. The public did not approve, however. The company has been losing users and stock value. The streaming service recently sent a memo to its employees to embrace free speech or find employment elsewhere.
At the end of the day, these companies are designed to make a profit. Woke ideology is beginning to get in the way of that and they are responding accordingly.
The left will not just sit back as companies retreat. They will try to rile up the base and force companies to take a stand one way or another. If they cannot win in the courts, or the court of public opinion, they can try to enforce their views through private companies through pressure campaigns.
Perhaps Ryan’s email was in response to Grayson’s inquiry. If so, then the inquiry served its purpose by forcing the issue — and PlayStation — into the public light. Even as the left’s losses continue to pile up, there is still momentum for their movement. CEOs like Ryan will be forced to deal with them politically in the near future.