Electronic Arts responded to the tragic death of George Floyd, and broader racial injustice, with a plan to donate cash and employee time toward finding a solution.
In a letter to employees this week, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the company will donate $1 million to several organizations, including the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Wilson said the balance of the donations will be given to other organizations, which have yet to be selected, that fight racial injustice in the U.S. EA will also double the funds employees donate to organizations through the month of June.
Wilson’s letter comes amid a growing crisis around the U.S. as Black Americans seek a solution to racial injustice after Floyd’s death last month. Protests have sprung up across cities in the U.S., with calls for change and justice.
The video game industry has proven especially active in its support of that effort. EA planned to unveil Madden NFL 21 on Monday but delayed the announcement so the world could focus on addressing racism. Sony planned to hold a PlayStation 5 event this week to unveil games slated for the console but canceled the event for the same reason. Many other game companies have taken to Twitter to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In addition to donating money to the effort, Wilson said EA will also be giving employees an additional paid day off each year that they can use to volunteer for charities in their communities.
“With all of our employees around the world, that will represent more than 75,000 hours applied to the change we can make,” Wilson told employees. “In the coming days, we’ll share a list of volunteer activities focused on fighting racial injustice, most of which can be undertaken from home while we still follow pandemic health guidelines.”
On June 9, EA plans to hold a Community Conversation, where employees can share ideas for battling bias, discrimination, and injustice, Wilson said.
“Black Lives Matter. Racial justice matters,” he wrote. “We’ve long held equality, inclusion, and diversity at the center of our beliefs at Electronic Arts. Let’s stand together, act together, and drive change together.”
- Respawn adds Black Lives Matter message in Apex Legends launch screen
- Rockstar to shut down GTA Online, Red Dead Online in support of Black Lives Matter
- Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks out about racism, calls for change
- Game industry pauses events as U.S. reels from George Floyd protests
- EA Sports promises stronger measures against racism, particularly for NHL games