Over 1,500 Activision Blizzard employees push back at company’s response to alle | Pocket Gamer.biz


Update: More than 2,000 former and current employees of Activision Blizzard have now signed the petition pushing back at management’s handling of the allegations and California lawsuit.

As reported by CNN, the petition began circling on July 26th and is looking to gain even more momentum as signatories now grow to beyond 20 per cent of the total workforce. Activision Blizzard director of corporate communications Kevin Liu told the outlet that the filing made by the state was “inaccurate” and “distorted”.

PocketGamer.biz has reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.

Original Story: Current and former employees of Activision Blizzard have signed a letter censuring the company’s response to a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit.

As originally reported by Bloomberg (paywall), the letter signed by over 1,000 workers was instigated by the response from Activision Blizzard to the claims in the lawsuit and an internal memo circulated by chief compliance officer Frances Townsend.

Townsend protested that the lawsuit is “meritless” and presented “a distorted and untrue picture” of the California-based firm. Townsend continued that the claims in the lawsuit included “factually incorrect” and “out of context” stories that date back more than a decade.

Increasing signatories

Last week, following a two-year investigation, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing submitted a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture” that includes the sexual harassment and discrimination of female employees.

The letter appeals to the company to officially “recognise the seriousness of the allegations” and to show “compassion for victims.” Additionally, the letter requests that Townsend withdraw from her position as an executive sponsor of the ABK (Activision Blizzard King) Employee Women’s Network following her response.

The number of signatories on the letter continues to increase, highlighting a significant response from the Activision Blizzard workforce that is reported to be around 9,500 employees in total.

“Hold abusers accountable”

“We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry,” the employee letter reads.

“Categorising the claims that have been made as ‘distorted, and in many cases false’ creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims. It also casts doubt on our organisations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first.”

“Our company executives have claimed that actions will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action – and the troubling official responses that followed – we no longer trust that our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. To claim this is a ‘truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit,’ while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences regarding harassment and abuse, is simply unacceptable.”

Additional reporting by Matthew Forde





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