One day after its co-founder offered a similar sentiment on Twitter, Respawn Entertainment has now issued a statement of support for trans rights, writing, “trans rights are human rights.”
This move comes after it was revealed last week that Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts refused to publicly support pro-choice and pro-trans legislation. Despite that Respawn Entertainment head Vince Zampella tweeted in support of the rights of transgender persons. Zampella noted that both Respawn and the Apex Legends dev team all strive to be as inclusive, positive, and supportive as possible when it comes to gender discourse.
Trans rights are human rights. It is as simple as that. Respawn has grown on the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion and strives to uphold those values. Let’s be better humans.
— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) May 31, 2022
Today, Respawn tweeted a similar sentiment. The image accompanying the tweet depicts several LGBTQ+ characters from Apex Legends and texts that reads, “Pride is the opposite of shame: it’s about being proud of who you are. We stand with transgender members of our community–our colleagues, partners, families, friends, and players–facing discrimination and attempts to curtail their autonomy. TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.” The date of the tweet is also significant, as June 1 marks the beginning of the annual Pride Month celebration.
At Respawn, we strive to be inclusive in the games we create and how we treat our employees and our players. Inaction is a choice and hurts those we care for. pic.twitter.com/DppcvKrwsW
— Respawn (@Respawn) June 1, 2022
These remarks come after EA employees reportedly threatened to stage a walk-out in protest of the gaming giant’s inaction in the wake of recent anti-choice and anti-trans legislation. According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, the protest is planned for June 3, after a message appeared in the company’s Slack channel that read, “If we see the company rainbow-wash their logo without making any substantive statement in support of trans people being abused nationwide in the US and elsewhere, especially after stating that the company doesn’t want to make any statement not supported by the diverse viewpoints of our 13,000 employees, we collectively walk out on Friday, June 3rd.”
The phrase “rainbow-washing” refers to corporate entities effectively dressing-up their products to look LGBTQ-friendly. But in reality, the representation is often only surface-level, driven by profits instead of a genuine desire to make the queer community feel welcome and accepted.
Particularly since the launch of Apex Legends, Respawn has been outspoken in its support for women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and regardless of EA’s stance on the matter, Respawn has made its position clear: Trans rights are human rights. The Apex Legends developer has previously created in-game badges supporting social justice movements for players to display on their banner cards. These include an LGBTQ+ Pride flag badge, a suicide awareness semicolon badge, a Stop Asian Hate badge, and a Black Lives Matter badge.