Bethesda staff criticize leadership over lack of action after Roe vs Wade reversal
Employees at Bethesda Games Studios have grown critical of their leadership and parent company Zenimax’s lack of action following the reversal of Roe vs Wade.
As reported by Kotaku, tensions have grown from debates in company channels and management communications that haven’t clearly addressed employee concerns over reproductive healthcare.
Some at the company agree with the court’s decision which led to internal contention that at times spilled over into Slack. One incident involved an employee posting an eight paragraph anti-abortion rant.
Bethesda Austin, Arkane Austin, and id Software studios are based in Texas. The state will ban all abortions by law this summer.
The report went on to say that when the draft decision was leaked weeks before, members of a Bethesda women’s employee resource group sent a letter to ZeniMax management.
“As reproductive rights have come under full attack in the U.S., the lack of response from ZeniMax leadership has been deafening. At the time of this writing, six calendar days have passed since the intent to overturn Roe vs. Wade was leaked to the public, the email said.
The email noted that the company supported staff internally during the Black Lives Matter protest of 2020, pride month last year, and during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“As more ZeniMax employees have their rights threatened, as more of us demand to know if our employer will stand with us, as competitors come out in support of their own workers, the company’s silence remains inexcusable and contrary to the company’s stated values.”
Two months after receiving the email, Bethesda tweeted in support of a person’s bodily choice — the same day of the Supreme Court decision was passed.
Microsoft, which purchased Bethesda last year, announced that it would provide travel assistance to employees who wish to get an abortion last week.
A former employee explained to Kotaku that ZeniMax’s policies are independent to that of Microsoft, so its policies don’t apply to ZeniMax staff.
After the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion ruling, some game studios and organizations across the industry condemned the decision.