Star Wars Jedi Studio Boss Stands Up For Trans Rights

Star Wars Jedi Studio Boss Stands Up For Trans Rights

Vince Zampella presents Titanfall 2 on stage at E3 2016.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian (Getty Images)

Vince Zampella, General Manager of Respawn Entertainment and responsible for some of Electronic Arts largest franchisesspoke out on Twitter in support of transgender rights ahead of the start of Pride Month on June 1. for its relative silence on these issues.

“Trans rights are human rights,” Zampella tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s as simple as that. Respawn has grown on the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion and strives to uphold these values. Let’s be better humans.

Zampella was previously the co-founder of Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward and is currently the head of EA studios at the crossroads of Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Battlefield. The publisher has bet big on his vision and leadership, which now includes speaking out on pressing social issues where his employer has remained silent. Many developers, including some at EA, thanked Zampella in the comments to the tweet for expressing their support. Zampella did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The gaming industry veteran’s statement came after a meeting earlier today on LGTBQ+ issues led by EA’s DEI General Manager, Asha George, and EA Studios COO, Kate Kellogg, according to two sources familiar with the event. There, they again faced questions from employees about why EA wouldn’t take a public stance on topics like transgender rights and abortion rights.

Sources said some staff were once again dismayed with the lack of clear answers from management, whose response again appeared to lean on the idea of abortion and trans rights lacking company-wide support. Kellogg and George effectively echoed chief people officer Mala Singh’s remarks from an internal company town hall a week ago.

“These are incredibly complex personal issues and an inclusive business means including all of these perspectives,” she said at the time, without specifying what other “perspectives” might be on issues such as transgender rights. Sources said Kellogg and George followed his lead in trying to focus the conversation on what EA can do to meet the individual health needs of its employees amid right-wing culture wars and attacks on human rights. ‘man.

The Battlefield publisher had once sponsored a Dallas Morning News ad alongside dozens of other companies condemning a grossly transphobic government order in Texas. “We are proud to join the Human Rights Campaign, along with other members of the business community, to oppose discriminatory laws and policies introduced in Texas, Florida and other states across the country,” he said. said in a statement. time.

However, neither that sentiment nor Zampella’s has ever been shared on EA’s website or social media. It’s in stark contrast to studios like Bungie and certain affinity, who haven’t been shy about taking a stand on polarizing issues that other game companies have apparently deemed too controversial to take a stand on. It’s not yet clear how EA in particular will reconcile its current silence with its Pride Month 2022 activities.

“Pride is not about ignoring this harsh reality to celebrate, pride is and always has been about celebrating in the face of hate,” the publisher said. written in a blog post at the start of Pride month last year. “We know we can do more for our LGBTQIA+ employees and players.”

Update 05/31/2022 7:41 PM ET: An EA spokesperson commented, “EA’s support of the LGBTQIA+ and trans communities is longstanding and enduring, and has been shared widely and publicly,” and provided a link to the link mentioned above. Pride 2021 EA blog post.


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