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E3 Organizer Suspends ESA PAC Political Donations After Events At US Capitol

The Entertainment Software Association has put the kibosh on any and all political contributions following last week’s insurrection attempt, reports GamesIndustry.Biz’s Rebekah Valentine and Brendan Sinclair.

“Given the events and actions that led to the violence at the US Capitol, we are pausing contributions from the ESA PAC as we reflect on the tragedy and our path forward,” the ESA told the site.

In the wake of the riots, which left five dead and several injured, 147 US Republican lawmakers voted to overturn the results of November’s presidential election. This tacit support of the protests was met with swift consequences from their corporate donors, many of whom suspended their donations. American Express, BlueCross BlueShield, and Marriott are among the companies who have pulled support.

According to OpenSecrets, the ESA donated several thousands of dollars to politicians in 2020 who later voted to overthrow the election. These five politicians are:

  • Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) – $1,000
  • Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) – $500
  • Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) – $2,500
  • Jay Obernolte (R-Calif) – $1,000
  • Jackie Walorski (R-Ind) – $1,500

The ESA has a long history of political donations – to conservatives in particular. According to Valentine and Sinclair, 2020 marked the first time that the ESA backed more Democrats than Republicans in several years. In 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, the organization’s PAC favored Republicans by a significant margin, and donated tens of thousands of dollars to their causes.

It’s interesting to think about one of the industry’s leading organizations playing a direct part in US politics. Certainly, it makes one question just how apolitical this medium can ever truly be.

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