Tony Blair wades into Resistance row
British Prime Minister expresses his opinion on the Church of England's protest against Sony's use of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance.
The row between the Church of England and Sony intensified today as British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that he agreed with MP Tony Lloyd that the use of the Manchester Cathedral in hit game Resistance: Fall of Man was "in bad taste, and very insulting."
Over the weekend, the Church of England accused Sony of "desecration" over scenes from the PlayStation 3 shooter in which players gun down hostile alien forces. The Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, said that Sony had not sought permission for using images of the church, and that in light of Manchester's gun crime problem, the images were "highly irresponsible."
During yesterday's Prime Minister's Question Time session in Parliament, the issue was raised by Tony Lloyd, the Member of Parliament for Manchester Central. Lloyd asked the PM if he agreed that Sony's use of images of Manchester Cathedral "extolled gun violence," and was insulting to both the Church of England and the general population.
The PM replied that he did, in fact, agree, and commented, "It is important that any companies engaged in promoting such goods have some sense of responsibility and some sensitivity to the feelings of others." Blair went on to add that it was an "immensely difficult area" and that he expected the debate to go on for a significant period. He concluded, "I agree with him: I think that it is important that people understand that there is a wider social responsibility, as well as simply responsibility for profit."
Earlier in the week, Sony had stated that it had opened a dialogue with Church officials in an attempt to resolve the issue. However, the dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Rev. Rogers Govender, told reporters at a news conference that this had not happened, according to the Associated Press.
Govender said, "We believe a silent response on the issue is not acceptable behaviour. Today I want to appeal directly to the people of Japan to help us put pressure on Sony to respond."
Sony Computer Entertainment spokesperson Nanako Kato confirmed to the AP that the company began direct talks with the Church on June 12 or 13, and is taking the church's views "seriously."
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