August 19, 2022

Coast workers witches protest Hasbro's response to abortion rights

Coast workers witches protest Hasbro’s response to abortion rights

Some of the staff at Dungeons & Dragons Publisher Magic the Gathering Wizards of the Coast say they are disappointed with owner Hasbro’s response to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Roe v. Wade, describing it as “faded” and asking the company to reconsider its position.

Owns several gaming companies Expressed support for the right to chooseSome of them said they are expanding health care coverage to support workers who have to travel to receive abortion care. Since Friday, game studios such as Bethesda Softworks, Insomniac Games and Electronic Arts have issued public statements in support of reproductive rights. Others, such as Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive, declined to comment on the ruling. Hasbro and the Wizards of the Coast similarly declined to comment publicly on their social media channels; Instead, Hasbro CEO Chris Cox and chief employee Nagoma Atkinson sent a statement to employees on Monday.

In it, Hasbro executives wrote that the company has a “long history” of accessing health care benefits, “including reproductive health care and other important media services, no matter where you live in the United States.” He also mentions “new enhanced travel benefits”, but doesn’t explain further. Cocks and Atkinson also directed workers toward the company’s mental health benefits, which include the Headspace app.

However, the witches of the coast staff are upset, because some language avoids disavowing the Supreme Court’s decision and requires staff to respect both sides.

“We know there are many views of what is at stake with the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court announced last week,” Cox and Atkinson wrote. “It is important that we continue to respect the views of all employees in the workplace.”

They continued, “Let’s continue to prioritize and nurture inclusion at Hasbro. Regardless of your individual opinions, this is the time to show understanding, empathy, and kindness to one another.”

A full copy of the internal staff memo is reprinted below:

We are committed to promoting an inclusive workplace where our colleagues feel welcome, respected and represented.

We are committed too, and we have a long history of providing comprehensive healthcare benefits to our colleagues. We affirm our commitment to providing consistent and equal access to health care, including reproductive health care and other important medical services, no matter where you live in the United States. This applies to you, your spouse or household partner and any dependents, and will cover your new Enhanced Travel Benefits. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that decisions about your personal health care remain strictly confidential. If you have concerns or questions about the position and available resources, we encourage you to speak with your HR business partner.

We know this can be a challenging time for many of you and we want to remind everyone that we offer many mental health resources, including counseling and virtual therapy options, which can be found here. The health, well-being and safety of all our colleagues are of paramount importance to us.

Let’s continue to prioritize and promote inclusion in Hasbro. Regardless of your individual opinions, this is the time to show understanding, empathy, and kindness to each other.

Speaking to Polygon on condition of anonymity, several Wizards of the Coast workers said these statements legitimize anti-abortion views that are dangerous to people. “This call infuriated many employees, including myself, who felt this legitimized those seeking to disenfranchise marginalized groups and ignore the fatal consequences of this Supreme Court decision on reproductive health,” one worker told Polygon.

Another Wizards of the Coast employee said that while the message was “harmless”, some workers are fed up with “lack of” or inappropriate health care options. That employee said, “Relying on these things without actually providing new or better resources is not enough for a lot of people.”

On Monday night, the Twitter account Wizards for Justice, which identifies itself as a group of working Wizards of the Coast, posted a statement condemning Hasbro’s internal statement. Polygon was unable to confirm the authenticity of the Twitter account or the number of employees involved. At least 13 current Wizards of the Coast employees Polygon spoke to, from various parts of the company, said they were unaware of any release or possible withdrawal prior to his rise. Some of these workers, however, said they support the intent of Wizards’ Message for Justice. Some noted that Wizards of the Coast operate largely remotely, and workers were reluctant to communicate using Hasbro’s Microsoft Teams accounts to talk about the Twitter account and its message.

In the message posted on TwitterThe group said some workers were “disappointed, disappointed, and completely unsatisfied” with Hasbro’s response to the Supreme Court ruling.

Wizards for Justice wrote: “Any messages that indicate or suggest that there are other valid opinions and approaches to this further marginalization of groups already at risk regarding their bodily autonomy are unnecessary, invalid and harmful.” “These messages seek only to protect those who seek control and validation, and they are the wrong direction for any organization with a customer base as diverse as ours.”

The Wizards of Justice account called on Wizards of the Coast employees to quit work Wednesday to “think and promote mental health and show solidarity that Hasbro will not.”

One of the coast workers’ handlers said that they and their team plan to sign out on Wednesday to support them, but aren’t sure if others will do the same. Neither Hasbro nor Wizards of the Coast responded to Polygon’s request for comment.

. cultural influence Magic: The Gathering Dungeons and Dragons cannot be underestimated; Both games have influenced the gaming industry for decades, with tens of millions of gamers combined. Wizards of the Coast has also been a huge source of revenue for Hasbro, which acquired the company in 1999. The success of its iconic brands helped the Rhode Island-based company top $1 billion in revenue in 2021, with the Wizards business unit accounting for 72% of Hasbro’s operating profit for the year. Building on this success, the company also has animated series And the Master Animation because of this year.

Hasbro itself owns three major subsidiaries: Consumer Products, Entertainment, and Digital Processors. The company employs 5,000 people as per its statistics. Wizards of the Coast is located in Washington state, but has offices all over the country, including Texas, one of the many states where abortion is now illegal.

Over the past few years, social media has become an increasingly popular tool for workers to organize and express grievances with employers. Social media accounts from workers at Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Cards Against Humanity and others have emerged as a way for workers to collectively express their opinions about their workplace. These social media accounts act as a collective voice, giving workers anonymity to speak freely about their struggles. Anonymity also complicates account validation or understanding range of motion, but some workers often feel it is the best or only option to openly discuss workplace issues.

Activision Blizzard QA staffers at Raven Software have used the momentum generated by social media outreach to garner support for their eventual union, approved last month.