Tripwire CEO out after tweeting support of Texas abortion law
Why it matters: Tripwire CEO John Gibson's support of a law critics are calling "draconian" and dangerous sparked instant outrage.
- “Effective immediately, John Gibson has stepped down as CEO of Tripwire,” the studio tweeted yesterday, citing a decision by its leadership team.
- “His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community."
The details: On Saturday afternoon, Gibson tweeted: “Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat.”
- He continued: “As an entertainer I don’t get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.”
- He was supporting the new Texas law that bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is usually around six weeks, and authorizes citizens to sue anyone helping a woman obtain an abortion after that point — with the offer of at least $10,000 from the state if the suit succeeds.
- The law, which includes no exception for rape or incest, all but bans abortions in the state and is strongly opposed by the Biden administration.
Blowback was swift — the tweet generated thousands of likes but scorn from scores more, including a top PlayStation developer, Cory Barlog, who tweeted: “how can anyone be proud of claiming dominion over a woman’s personal freedoms?”
- Another Georgia-based studio, Shipwright, announced it would cancel its contracts with Tripwire. The development studio behind "Chivalry 2," which is published by Tripwire, also slammed Gibson's statement.
- On Monday, Tripwire announced Gibson was gone, replacing him with co-founder Alan Wilson.
The big picture: Texas’ abortion law has provoked strong reactions among the public, though the response from the business community has been muted.
- Lyft and Uber have said they’ll pay legal fees for drivers who are sued under the law.
- But Texas CEOs have largely remained silent.
- An exception: Max Hoberman, CEO of Austin-based game studio Certain Affinity, tweeted on Saturday that “this abortion ban” and other new Texas regulations “make recruiting to Texas exceptionally difficult, and may even drive away businesses.”