Software CEO Resigns After Backlash Over Texas Abortion Law Support

Software CEO Resigns After Backlash Over Texas Abortion Law Support a graphic illustration of a pencil eraser erasing stick figures with the words cancel culture (Dreamstime)

By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 08 September 2021 11:38 AM

The CEO and co-founder of a video game development company resigned after receiving backlash for tweeting support of Texas' abortion ban.

John Gibson stepped down from Tripwire Interactive after saying he was "proud" the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the Texas law, which allows private citizens to enforce it by enabling them to sue abortion providers and anyone who "aids or abets" an abortion after six weeks.

"Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat," Gibson tweeted on his personal account Sept. 4. "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."

The backlash began almost immediately.

Shipwright Studios, another game developer, announced it would terminate its three-year relationship with Tripwire over Gibson's tweet.

"We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure," Shipwright wrote in a statement posted in the replies of Gibson's original tweet. "We will begin the cancellation of our existing contracts effective immediately."

Tripwire, based in Roswell, Georgia, produces video games that include first-person shooter game Killing Floor, survival game Maneater, and a popular medieval warfare game called Chivalry 2.

The company issued a statement Monday saying Gibson has stepped down and his views do not reflect those of the company.

"His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community," the company said, CNN reported. "Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment."

Tripwire announced co-founding member and vice president Alan Wilson will take over as interim CEO.

"[Wilson's] understanding of both the company's culture and the creative vision of our games will carry the team through this transition, with full support from the other Tripwire leaders," the statement said.

Other companies have announced efforts to push back on the Texas abortion law.

GoDaddy took down a website that allowed people to post tips about possible abortions happening in Texas, CNN reported.

Lyft and Uber, ride-hailing companies, promised to cover legal fees for their drivers who are sued as a result of the new law, CNN said. Dating sites Bumble and Match said they will create a relief fund for people impacted by the law.