Wizards of the Coast employees disappointed by Hasbro’s “out of touch” response to overturning of Roe v. Wade
The employees plan to take a day off on June 29th to “show solidarity that Hasbro will not.”
Employees at Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast lambasted parent company Hasbro for what they characterise as the toy giant’s complete lack of a response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the lynchpin in the country’s abortion and reproductive rights legislation. An open letter published on June 27th described the unnamed employees’ dissatisfaction and encouraged their coworkers to take a day of solidarity and reflection on Wednesday, June 29th.
The letter was published to Twitter by a new account calling itself Wizards for Justice. As of time of writing, the thread had accumulated over 800 retweets and quoted retweets on the social media platform, and a screenshot of the letter hosted on Imgur had been viewed more than 26,000 times. Wizards for Justice uses the same stylised “W” as the official WotC account, and it tagged the thread with “#wotcstaff” hashtag often used by, or to get the attention of, regularly online members of the company.
While misrepresentation of WotC staff would be far-fetched, it should be noted that Wizards for Justice doesn’t provide any information verifying that those behind the account are actual employees. This is a common practice when those speaking up - or forming a collective of workers - fear retaliation from their employer simply for voicing dissent on a public forum. Dicebreaker has reached out for more information. The full letter is listed below:
“We, as employees of Wizards of the Coast, are frustrated, disappointed, and completely dissatisfied with Hasbro’s out of touch, tone-deaf, and lackluster response to Friday’s Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade,” the letter begins. “This decision, that healthcare for marginalized individuals is a privilege based on location and means, violates basic human rights.”
“At a bare minimum, any ethical organization should be offering healthcare travel benefits, support, and a clear message of solidarity. Any messaging that suggests or implies that there are other, valid, opinions and approaches to this further marginalization of already at risk groups, on their bodily autonomy is unnecessary, invalid, and damaging. Such messaging only seeks to protect and validate those that seek to control, and is the wrong direction for any organization with as diverse a customer base as ours.”
“On Wednesday, June 29th all employees are encouraged to take a day to reflect, nurture mental health, and show solidarity that Hasbro will not. Decisions like this cause suffering and it’s this that we ask, on the same day, Hasbro leadership to reflect on. Particularly, how messaging like this violates and stands in the face of a diverse and inclusive workforce and creates yet another burden for already marginalized people.”
“We also ask that leadership understand that policy, opinions, and perspectives are not the same thing. And respecting the ability for people to have varying opinions does not equal lack of damage and harm. Equating opinions and ignoring this is a choice towards harm. Additionally, we recommend that Hasbro acknowledge the disproportional impact this ruling has on marginalized people, fully disclose details on additional healthcare travel benefits - as many other companies have already done - and include Wizards representation in future conversations about healthcare benefits as a whole.”
We, as employees of Wizards of the Coast, are frustrated, disappointed, and completely dissatisfied with Hasbro’s out of touch, tone-deaf, and lackluster response to Friday’s Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. (1/11)#wotcstaff https://t.co/6pUSHKszpa— Wizards for Justice (@WizardsJustice) June 28, 2022
It’s not clear if the response mentioned in the letter refers to Hasbro’s lack of a public statement or internal messaging sent to the company’s employees, including Wizards of the Coast. In the days following the Supreme Court’s incredibly unpopular decisions (seriously, it goes against virtually all public polling on the issue of abortion), many entertainment companies spoke publicly about supporting reproductive rights and continuing to provide relevant aid to their employees.
Similar statements within the tabletop industry were much less common. Root and Oath maker Leder Games published a Twitter thread linking to abortion funds and other resources, along with instructing their followers on contacting their local and state representatives. The design team behind Coyote & Crow, a new indigenous scifi tabletop RPG system, said they would no longer be attending events in states that had banned abortions. Nearly half the states in the US have either already outlawed abortion or have “trigger laws” that were designed to take effect 30 days after Roe v. Wade or any similar federal protections were removed.
Neither Hasbro nor Wizards of the Coast have responded to the apparent call from their employees for accountability. Dicebreaker reached out for comment but did not immediately receive a response.