EA Staff Threatens Walkout Over Company’s Pride Month Response

By Jason Collins | 2 mins ago

EA logo

Ten days into the Pride month, controversies unravel like a yarn ball tossed around by a small kitten. In most recent news, the center of the controversy isn’t Activision Blizzard (this is a first) but Electronic Arts, which made some questionable choices when it comes to expressing support for the LGBTQ+ community. Specifically, employees had an issue with what the company decided to do with the EA logo.

As reported by Bounding Into Comics, Electronics Arts decided to change its EA logo on social media platforms following walkout threats from the company’s staff. For those that aren’t familiar with the situation, EA staffers threatened a walkout unless the publisher took substantial action in support of Pride and the LGBTQ+ community after the company failed to issue a company-wide statement supporting Pride Month, which started on June 1.

The company previously did not openly and publicly support transgender and reproductive rights, which didn’t quite sit well with the company’s employees. Some internal studios, like Respawn Entertainment, expressed their support of trans people, but EA as a whole didn’t make an official statement of support. However, some employees took things a bit further and announced a walkout if the company decided to rainbow-wash the company EA logo.

Rainbow-washing is when a business, conglomerate, or other for-profit organization uses the rainbow Pride colors to suggest to consumers their progressive support for LGBTQ+ equality, which earns said businesses consumer credibility. Reportedly, EA staff believed that rainbow-washing the EA logo after openly refusing to issue a statement of support is nothing more than a hypocritical marketing ploy and not a genuine supporting effort.

Initially, the staff organized a walkout in protest of the company’s actions, stating that rainbow-washing the company EA logo without making a substantive statement in support of the LGBTQ+ community, whose members are being abused nationwide, is unacceptable. Even more so after the company stated that it doesn’t want to make public statements that aren’t supported by the diverse views of over 10,000 employees.

Things were made worse for the company after it issued a statement via its blog, where it highlighted its accomplishments in the area of LGTBQ+ support. Reportedly, the staffers saw it as nothing more than virtue signaling and empty promises, and the threat of a company-wide walkout would continue unless the company didn’t back up its words with action. However, things took a left turn, and the walkout was canceled after EA’s leadership promised not to rainbow-wash the EA logo.

In the end, it would seem that EA staff didn’t take issue with the company’s lack of support but with the perceived hypocrisy that was involved with rainbow-washing the company’s EA logo. Now, ten days into Pride month the EA logo remains as colorful as it previously was, but without any trace of the Pride rainbow design that companies usually hoist like a flag during June. It will remain to be seen whether Electronic Arts learns anything for this near-employee revolt, but that will have to wait for next year’s Pride Month.