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In unusual move, ESA slams Trump’s racist outburst

Game publisher group says the president’s words are ‘repulsive’

Donald Trump Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Entertainment Software Association tonight issued a statement regarding U.S. President Donald Trump’s widely reported, racist comments about immigrants from “Haiti and Africa” as being from “shithole” countries.

”America’s greatness is built on our diversity,” reads the ESA’s statement. “The president’s repulsive comments undermine the fundamental values of who we are as a country. There is no place in our society for this type of backward thinking, and we condemn it in the strongest terms.”

The ESA, which represents the interests of video game publishing companies, occasionally issues statements on matters of wider interest outside gaming.

Late last year, the ESA said it welcomed Republican tax legislation, which is likely to benefit large corporations. In September, it sent out a fairly anodyne statement calling for a swift and positive resolution to the Trump administration’s efforts to curb the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which supports undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States as children.

But the language in today’s statement is unusually frank. Even the ESA’s antagonism to Trump’s visa ban on travelers from specific Muslim-majority countries — which has a clear and present effect on games companies — was couched in the careful language of Washington, D.C. diplomacy.

The ESA is just one of many who criticized the remarks made earlier today in an Oval Office meeting, in which Trump reportedly expressed a preference for immigrants from a country like Norway, rather than from “shithole countries” like Haiti and African nations.

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