The lawsuit, brought by the California Department of Employment and Housing after a more than 2-year investigation, has brought to light a number of gruesome allegations in Activision Blizzard that range from active discrimination and inequality for female employees in sexual harassment and assault, a situation that resulted in suicide. Executives at Activision Blizzard have issued statements that have at best dismissed the allegations and outright combated them in other cases.
Activision Blizzard employees, current and former, were not happy with the company’s response to the lawsuit, and many have released their own statements through various social channels that comments made by the company do not reflect their views. However, a number of employees have also banded together in a more organized effort, writing and signing a letter denouncing the distrust of Activision Blizzard executives, as well as demanding statements that “better recognize the seriousness of these allegations and show compassion for the victims of harassment and assault.
The letter says executive statements calling the lawsuit “baseless” and “irresponsible” are unacceptable in the face of a wave of Activision Blizzard employees who openly speak out about the corporate culture alleged through the DFEH lawsuit.
The letter in its entirety reads as follows:
To the leaders of Activision Blizzard,
We, the undersigned, agree that the statements of Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal advisers regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement by Frances Townsend, are odious and insulting to anything we believe our company should stand for. . To put it plainly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leaders.
We believe these statements have hampered our continued pursuit of equality inside and outside our industry. Categorizing claims that have been made as “distorted and in many cases false” creates a corporate atmosphere that victims do not believe. It also casts doubt on the ability of our organizations to hold perpetrators accountable and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership does not put our values first. Immediate corrections are needed at the highest level of our organization.
Our company executives have said action will be taken to protect us, but in the face of lawsuits – and the troubling official responses that followed – we no longer believe our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. . To claim that this is a “truly baseless and irresponsible trial” while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences with harassment and abuse is simply unacceptable.
We call for official statements recognizing the seriousness of these allegations and showing compassion to victims of harassment and assault. We call on Frances Townsend to keep her word to step down as executive sponsor of ABK’s Women Employees Network due to the prejudicial nature of her statement. We call on the leadership team to work with us on meaningful new efforts that ensure employees – as well as our community – have a safe place to speak out and come forward.
We support all of our friends, teammates and colleagues, as well as members of our dedicated community, who have experienced abuse or harassment of any kind. We won’t be silenced, we won’t stay on the sidelines, and we won’t give up until the company we love is a place to work we can all be proud to be a part of again. We will be the change.
Additional signatories have added their names to the list of undersigned on the letter since its publication, and even more continue to do so, although it is not known what the total number is now. With nearly 10,000 employees working for the company, that’s about 10% of Activision Blizzard’s workforce (albeit some former employees) who have publicly signed the letter.
Attention to the lawsuit is already affecting the company, where last week a revelation of a new Surveillance The card was taken down and all of the company’s social media accounts (games and developers) went completely silent for more than five days.
Many outlets and content creators stopped covering Activision Blizzard games as a result of the lawsuit until the company could issue a more satisfactory response and begin to make satisfactory progress in changing its culture and protecting them. most vulnerable in the business. Activision Blizzard reports from various sources indicate that the management team are working to deny, clarify and sweep the lawsuit and its allegations under the rug in the hope that it can resume its activities as d ‘habit. But for many it is clear that “business as usual” is not something they want to return to.