Activision Blizzard harassment suit is painfully familiar

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Activision Blizzard is The latest video game company to face censorship for allegedly fostering a culture of gender discrimination. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing female employees of Activision Blizzard of rampant sexual harassment and discrimination.The structure and system highlighted in litigation are very similar to those of litigation and exposure About Riot Games And Ubisoft in the past few years.

The gaming industry has been clearing inequality in the workplace for many years. Leading companies have been slow, even taciturn, responding to their allegedly discriminatory culture, and in some cases, Sheltered fortress Surround them with more problematic employees and systems. Activision Blizzard has the opportunity to set a different tone. From the current point of view, it seems unlikely.

As we all know, the gaming industry is dominated by men and has long been known for being hostile to women. DFEH on page 29 complain After a two-year investigation on Activision Blizzard, Activision Blizzard is the publisher of well-known games, such as call-of-duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch-It contains gruesome allegations of misconduct, ranging from harassment by senior management to the so-called “cube crawling.” According to reports, male employees “drink a lot while “climbing” through various cubicles in the office. “And often misbehave against female employees.” It describes a culture where double standards prevent women from being promoted or even staying in the company; it says that, in general, women are paid less than men for “basically similar jobs”. . According to the agency, the starting salary of female employees is lower than that of men, and their promotion rate is also slower. Only 24% of Activision Blizzard’s nearly 10,000 employees Is a woman, The top leadership is almost entirely white and male.

In this “fraternity boy” culture, the complaint states that men “proudly” come to work with hangovers and delegate responsibilities to women when playing games call-of-duty, Discussing sexual contact publicly, and even joking about rape. The complaint also stated that employees and even executives sexually harassed female employees without being affected. It pointed out that a female employee who may have experienced sexual harassment at work-including a colleague at a party who allegedly shared an intimate photo of her-later committed suicide. (In a statement, Activision Blizzard stated, “We are disgusted by DFEH’s condemned behavior and dragged the tragic suicide of an employee into the complaint. The employee’s death has nothing to do with the case and does not take into account her grief. Family.”)

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in a statement: “We value diversity and strive to create an inclusive workplace for everyone.” “Our company, industry, or any industry does not allow any form of sexual misconduct. Or harassment. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, actions have been taken to resolve the issues.” The company stated that in the past few years, it has been working to promote diversity, including helping Employees report violations, increase confidentiality hotlines, and set up a team to investigate employee concerns. Activision Blizzard claimed that DFEH’s complaint included “a misrepresentation of Blizzard’s past, which in many cases is a false description.”

DFEH requires relief for compensatory and punitive damages, unpaid wages and attorney’s fees. The department declined to respond to Wired’s request for comment on the grounds of an ongoing investigation.

Activision Blizzard’s revelation and those in Riot Games In 2018 and Ubisoft 2020. Just as the overall gaming culture’s acceptance of women and minorities has been slow, so too have gaming companies previously accused of fostering a culture of sexism.

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