Activision Blizzard staff pen scathing open letter over response to sexual harassment claims

Activision Blizzard office

Activision Blizzard employees have penned an open letter to their leadership responding to the current sexual harassment lawsuit.

More than 800 signatures have been gathered from current and former employees of the games company demanding they release a statement that “recognise[s] the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault”.

“To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” it reads.

The response from Activision Blizzard to the lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against their “frat boy workplace culture” has so far suggested the lawsuit claims are false and distorted.

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

“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. Immediate corrections are needed from the highest level of our organisation.”

You can read the full open letter as published by Polygon.

Activision Blizzard bosses want sexual harassment allegations to be kept private

Meanwhile, an internal meeting has taken place at Activision Blizzard urging employees to keep all harassment claims internal.

As reported by UppercutCrit, the meeting was held by Activision exec Joshua Taub who, according to a source in the meeting, said that he and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick “have never seen this”, but that “does not mean this behaviour does not happen”.

Claims must also be investigated internally. “We don’t publicise all of these claims, we work with the employee and the person who is accused and try to work on a resolution,” said Taub, according to the source.

When questioned about unionisation by an employee, Taub allegedly responded: “The best way for protection is reaching out to your supervisors, hotline and avenues.”

These would be the same internal avenues that employees are dissatisfied with, resulting in the open letter.

Taub was also asked how hard it was to write a company apology, to which he responded “we did”, followed by “I can’t control how everybody in the company responds”. 

Activision Blizzard will be actively fighting the lawsuit. Said Taub in the meeting: “I think the state of California has filed a suit and we said we were gonna fight it.

“It will go through a legal process but this is an allegation not a conviction.”

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