Activision Blizzard, the publishing giant behind everything from Call of Duty to Overwatch , is being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over a “frat boy” workplace culture that it alleges has led to years of harassment and abuse targeting the women in its workforce.
A two-year investigation by the state agency found that the company discriminated against female employees in terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, assignment, promotion, and termination. Company leadership consistently failed to take steps to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, the agency said.
There’s some very specific, detailed and incredibly disturbing stuff in the documents, as Paul Tassi from Forbes notes:
The attached screenshot of part of the suit (trigger warning for harassment, abuse, suicide):
There’s a lot more like it:
Female employees almost universally confirmed that working for Defendants was akin to working in a frat house, which invariably involved male employees drinking and subjecting female employees to sexual harassment with no repercussion. “Cube crawls” in Defendants’ offices were common and male employees proudly came into work hungover. Similarly, male employees would play video games during work, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and make numerous jokes about rape.
As a product of this “frat boy” culture, women were subjected to numerous sexual comments and advances, groping and unwanted physical touching, and other forms of harassment. A female employee noted that random male employees would approach her on Defendants’ work site and comment on her breasts. Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would hit on them, make derogatory comments about rape, and otherwise engage in demeaning behavior. This behavior was known to supervisors and indeed encouraged by them, including a male supervisor openly encouraging a male subordinate to “buy” a prostitute to cure his bad mood.
I’ve only read bits and pieces of the suit, and these article extracts and I feel ill. Every one of these victims deserves to be heard and compensated, and every one of these scumbags deserves to be sanctioned, made unemployable, or jailed.