HRC Blog

Anti-Gay Activists Target Electronic Arts for Pro-Equality Policies

Anti-gay activists online are targeting Electronic Arts (EA) specifically because the company creates video games that include LGBT characters. The Consumerist is conducting its annual “Worst Company in America” poll, and comments are popping up on various right-wing websites encouraging users to vote for EA solely based on the company’s pro-LGBT stance.

Comments on the Free Republic include:

Another clear example of the gay agenda in a place it doesn’t belong. EA putting gay characters in our kids [sic] game has got to stop. Maybe they will get the message as Worst Company in America.

and

The gay movement appears to be moving its agenda through large organizations. It’s not just the Boy Scouts, it’s also the video game industry.

For its part, EA isn’t backing down from its inclusive approach to gaming. In a broader response to the company’s ranking in the poll, EA chief operating officer Peter Moore said:

In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America. That last one is particularly telling. If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because we’re not caving on that.

Earlier this year, EA sponsored a conference with HRC and the Entertainment Software Association that looked at the intersection of LGBT issues and the gaming industry.

EA’s inclusive LGBT policies and games reflect the broader business support for marriage equality – last month, EA was one of nearly 300 major corporations that signed an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, urging the Court to overturn the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

Update 4/8/13: HRC has received the following statement from The Consumerist:

While Consumerist applauds EA's inclusive, pro-LGBT stance, we have seen absolutely no evidence that this particular issue has anything to do with EA's inclusion, or success, in the Worst Company In America tournament. EA, which won the award in 2012, is in this year's tournament because its business practices continue to upset many members of the gaming community. Consumerist not only believes in equal rights for all human beings, but would also not be party to any attempt to attack those rights, even in a silly poll where the victor receives a gold-colored plastic poo statue.

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