Gearbox Studios has testified against a Texas anti-trans bill in front of the state’s house of representatives [via GamingBible].
During the hearing, Gearbox Studios executive David Najjab argued that the oppressive bill would be detrimental to business while making it harder to recruit the industry’s “best and brightest”. Najjab also stated that the legislation would prompt the company to expand outside Texas, leading to the company’s departure from the state. This marks the second time that the company has spoken against anti-trans legislation after the company previously testified against a similar bill.
What Does The Bill Do?
Both the previous bill and the new House Bill 4042 target schools through legislation, forcing pupils to conform to their assigned birth gender. While Texas’ previous proposals aimed to enforce bathroom gender rules, Bill 4042 will force similar laws upon students competing in sports. Speaking against the bill, Najjab criticised the legislation while stating that the decision will affect the company’s future in Texas:
“I’m a Texan, I was born here. I know it’s a welcoming, friendly place. I want us to push that, not be making up laws we don’t need.”
“Our game company’s in competition worldwide. We sell more to Asia than we do in the United States. We bring a lot of money into this state. We’re headquartered here. Don’t drive us to where we have to start expanding outside of Texas and outside of the country. We want to keep doing business here.”
What Has Gearbox Studios Done In The Past?
Back in 2017, Gearbox Studios CEO Randy Pitchford argued against previous discriminatory legislation, which revolved around gendered bathrooms:
“The kinds of people that are the best in the world at creating technology, at creating entertainment, these are people that do not want to live in places that are seen as discriminatory.”
Hopefully, Gearbox’s testimony will resonate with the house of representatives. While the company’s statement has been considered by some to be self serving, it could still help boost trans rights while combatting institutional oppression and discrimination.
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Featured Image credit: Gearbox