Originally published June 1, 2020. Updated June 4 at 8:31 p.m. ET
The winds of change are blowing fiercely across America as millions rise up in solidarity against the systematic oppression faced by members of the black community. Following the death of George Floyd while being detained by police officers in Minneapolis, many individuals and organizations are making taking a very public stand that #BlackLivesMatter.
For those involved in the business of play, there is a responsibility to educate and support future generations, and the heels are digging in.
Below is a roundup of statements published online and on social media by toy and game companies, as well as some adjacent businesses including retailers and entertainment companies. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather an overview of the many words and actions of support.
Adventure Media & Events: Publishers of the Toy Book, the Toy Insider, and the Pop Insider
— Funko (@OriginalFunko) June 1, 2020
The LEGO Group, which curiously emailed affiliate marketers asking to pull back links for more than 30 sets representing police, fire, and more, announced on June 3 that it would donate $4 million to organizations “dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality.”
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) June 3, 2020
Mattel shared a unified message across its corporate platform and accounts for brands including Hot Wheels, Barbie, Masters of the Universe, and more.
We stand together. pic.twitter.com/s685qWoo78
— MATTEL (@Mattel) June 1, 2020
MGA Entertainment’s (MGAE) Bratz was one of the first to share words of support. The petition that Bratz encouraged followers to share has more than 10 million signatures as of this writing.
MGAE’s Little Tikes brand shared the following message and a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must teach Love and Acceptance for everyone! ❤ pic.twitter.com/dtrONwlRGQ
— Little Tikes (@LittleTikes) June 1, 2020
Let’s be part of the change. We stand, shoulder to shoulder, in solidarity against racism, injustice and violence.
In solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices we will be muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning. #amplifyBlackvoices pic.twitter.com/645LqGAqTj
— Spin Master (@SpinMaster) June 2, 2020
The Walt Disney Co.
The below message was posted to the official Disney account, as well as its subsidiaries, including the official Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel accounts. UPDATE: On June 3, Disney announced that it will donate $5 million to “support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice,” starting with a $2 million donation to the NAACP. The company is also matching any donations that its employees make.
— Disney (@Disney) May 31, 2020
The HBO and HBO Max Twitter accounts both posted the below message and changed their profile names to “#BlackLivesMatter.”
“Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.” — James Baldwin
We stand with our Black colleagues, employees, fans, actors, storytellers — and all affected by senseless violence. #BlackLivesMatter
— HBO (@HBO) May 31, 2020
“Somebody has to stand when others are sitting. Somebody has to speak when others are quiet.” – Bryan Stevenson
We stand with our Black colleagues, talent, storytellers and fans – and all affected by senseless violence. Your voices matter, your messages matter. #BlackLivesMatter
— Warner Bros. (@warnerbros) May 31, 2020
We believe in our anime community, in the rights of those in our community, and we believe that #BlackLivesMatter.
— Funimation (@FUNimation) May 31, 2020
This was the message posted from the official ViacomCBS account, as well as its subsidiaries, including the official Star Trek, Nickelodeon, and CBS accounts.
— ViacomCBS (@ViacomCBS) May 31, 2020
Additionally, Nickelodeon went off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd and in support of “justice, equality, and human rights.”
— NBCUniversal (@NBCUniversal) June 1, 2020
VIDEO GAME COMPANIES
In addition to posting the below statement, PlayStation decided to postpone the virtual event it had scheduled for this Thursday, which would have showcased new games for the PlayStation 5 system. In a statement about postponing the event, the company wrote, “We do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 1, 2020
Xbox stands together with our fans, creators, colleagues, friends, and the entire African American & Black Community against systemic racism and injustice.
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 1, 2020
Square Enix, the studio behind the popular Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy games, is pledging $250,00 to support Black Lives Matter and will match employees’ donations to charities and organizations that combat racial injustice.
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) June 2, 2020
Nintendo of America
Nintendo posted the following statement on social media:
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 3, 2020
STREAMING SERVICES & TECH
To be silent is to be complicit.
Black lives matter.
We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.
— Netflix (@netflix) May 30, 2020
We support Black lives. Today, and every day. You are seen. You are heard. And we are with you.
— Hulu (@hulu) May 31, 2020
— Prime Video (@PrimeVideo) May 31, 2020
— Crunchyroll (@Crunchyroll) May 31, 2020
— TikTok (@tiktok_us) May 30, 2020
We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt. We’re pledging $1M in support of efforts to address social injustice.
— YouTube (@YouTube) May 30, 2020
“Another black man in America died senselessly on Monday, and it happened only miles from where many of us live. As cars and people passed by, unaware that a man was struggling to breathe as another’s knee was on his neck, our state and country witnessed yet another example of how the life of an African American man, woman, boy or girl is fundamentally different from their white friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
All this happened on the same day another black man, this time in New York City, was threatened by a white woman who said she would call the police on him when he requested she leash her dog, as required by city ordinance. She made that threat — and carried through on it — almost certainly knowing it would strike fear in the heart of any African American adult. She weaponized racism, and the whole world was able to watch…” from the Best Buy Corporate Blog.
Best Buy was the first major retailer to issue a message to the public following the murder of George Floyd. The statement, signed by Best Buy’s senior leadership team, was straightforward and to the point: racism has to end. Target followed suit, as did Walmart.
On Instagram, Hot Topic pledged to donate $50,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and take additional steps to support the Black Lives Matter movement.