Max Hoberman, CEO of Halo co-developer Certain Affinity, has shared a message with staff regarding recent political events, namely those involving personal health and privacy matters and the recent draft from the US Supreme Court to potentially overturn Roe vs. Wade.
"As a business leader it's exceptionally difficult to navigate highly politicised issues like transgender and abortion rights. But I'm not content to sit back and say or do nothing," he tweeted, before sharing an in-depth message he had sent out to his employees.
This message reads: "It is appalling that states, including the [Certain Affinity] headquarters' home state of Texas, are wading into what I consider personal health and privacy matters. Recently this encompassed gross intrusions on the rights and dignity of transgender youth, putting politics over the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of a vulnerable population, and threatening their families, friends, doctors and other supporters.
"As the recent draft US Supreme Court opinion potentially overturning Roe v Wade has shown, the rights of women to make critical decisions about their health and wellbeing - including access to vital birth control medication and abortion - and protections for the privacy of those decisions, are also under attack. Measures are already teed up in several states that will similarly punish family, friends, doctors and other supporters who come to their aid. This is all incredibly concerning on a personal level, and also as a business owner and leader; naked politicisation of private health matters is hurting our business in tangible ways, including our ability to recruit staff.
"We have yet to formulate specific policies relating to our company's handling of these matters. These are tricky areas to navigate, as state governments may at some point decide that, by supporting vulnerable employees in their time of need, we fall on the wrong side of the law. As appalling and distressing as this is, it's a reality and a risk that we must carefully navigate.
"However, as a demonstration of our company values, today I am making this commitment to you: If the state or province that you live in restricts access to what a majority of medical experts consider essential care, and this makes remaining there untenable for you and your family, we will cover the pre-approved, documented, reasonable out-of-pocket costs of your relocation to another, safer state or province that we operate in.
"If this affects you, please know that you can bring questions or concerns to any member of our HR team. They will listen with compassion and maintain the utmost confidentiality on the matter, only sharing with other members of the extended HR team and with expert consultants if needed."
Hoberman then goes on to thank his staff for their "continued trust and support", saying they will all "get through this together".
As a business leader it's exceptionally difficult to navigate highly politicized issues like transgender and abortion rights. But I'm not content to sit back and say or do nothing. Here's a message that I was thrilled to share with all @CertainAffinity full-time staff today. pic.twitter.com/zTJvaTm9Il— Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman) May 18, 2022
Hoberman is not the first (and surely won't be the last) to speak out about the current political climate.
Earlier this month, Destiny developer Bungie released a statement in response to the US Supreme Court's plans to overthrow Roe v Wade, calling it a "direct attack on human rights".
This is in contrast to Bungie's soon-to-be owner Sony. A new report has claimed Sony is currently refusing to approve any statements its PlayStation studios might want to make on the topic of reproductive rights.
In addition to this, Sony's boss Jim Ryan also allegedly sent out an internal email asking his staff to "respect differences of opinion" on abortion rights. While Ryan never disclosed his personal stance on the issue, the tone of the email is understood to have been very trivial, with it also including several paragraphs on Ryan's cats. This blasé approach from Ryan seemingly left many feeling very angry and disappointed in the CEO.
However, soon after Bungie spoke out, Double Fine Productions also gave its thoughts on the matter, saying it would "stand steadfast in [its] support of essential healthcare rights for all."