More annoying allegations about the culture of sexual harassment and gender discrimination reported by Activision Blizzard have been reported in recent days following a huge lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Science (DFEH). last week.
The details of these stories can be challenging to read, so we present them in advance content warning about descriptions of sexual harassment.
Thursday, New York Times published the story very distressing accounts of Activision Blizzard’s culture. Here is one from a former customer service employee, Shay Stein:
Stein, 28, who worked at Activision from 2014-2017 in customer service roles and helped players with problems and disruptions, said he was consistently paid less than a former boyfriend who joined the company at the same time as him and did the same job.
Ms. Stein once said she refused drugs offered by her supervisor on holidays in 2014 or 2015, which worsened their relationship and made her career more difficult. In 2016, the director sent him a message on Facebook suggesting that he be forced to do “weird stuff” and ask what kind of pornography he looked at. He also said he had heard male colleagues joking that some women had jobs just because they did sexual service to male superiors.
Former Vice President Lisa Welch shared a story about how a forced director asked her to have sex with her, “because she” deserved to have fun “after her boyfriend had died weeks earlier.”
Vice published a worrying report on Friday about the story of Emily Mitchell, a security researcher, who approached Blizzard’s stand at the Black Hat Cyber Security Conference in 2015 and was disturbed by Blizzard’s representatives.
When he came to the table, he said he asked about the intrusion testing position. Intrusion testing or pentesting is an industry term for security screening. Mitchell said he was wearing a t-shirt made by cyber security company SecureState with a “Penetration Expert” on the front. One of Blizzard’s employees first asked if she had disappeared, another asked if she was in a conference with her boyfriend, and another asked if she even knew what pentesting was.
“One of them asked me when I last personally intruded on me, if I liked the intrusion and how often I was intruded,” Mitchell told Waypoint. “I was furious and felt humiliated, so I took a free throw and left.”
Mitchell later worked as CEO at Sagitta HPC (now Terahash), and when Blizzard wanted to hire the company in 2017, he reported the case to founder and CEO Jeremi Gosney. Vice. Gosney sent his modified email response On Twitter in March 2017and demanded that Blizzard meet a number of conditions if they cooperated, including a “50 percent misogyny tax” in which proceeds would be donated to three charities that support women in technology, and that Blizzard send an apology to Mitchell.
Gosney confirmed on Friday that the email’s modified name was Blizzard.
IGN released a great feature Friday details the huge challenges women have faced at Activision Blizzard. One shocking example: the men walked into the breastfeeding rooms because at some point they had no locks:
A source who has since left Blizzard talked about how there were no locks in the breastfeeding room. “The men walked into the nursing room. It was not possible to lock the door. They just stared and I had to shout at them to leave.” IGN understands that the nursing rooms have since been updated and locks have been added to the doors.
IGN: t the article also added details to DFEH’s claim in the lawsuit that working for the company was “similar to working in a frat house:”
Such stories abound in Activision Blizzard, exacerbated by a beverage culture that until recently was “crazy,” the source said. One woman told me that she “avoided” drinking events on campus because of her reputation. Another talked about how Blizzard’s headquarters in Irvine was about “much more sexual” around 2015, when women were treated inappropriately in the chest area and elsewhere, “sometimes at a holiday party, sometimes not”.
Activision Blizzard has sought to address a problematic beverage culture by introducing a two-beverage cap at corporate events. IGN, a policy that was introduced in 2018, a company spokesman told the publication.
On Wednesday, Activision Blizzard employees went out to protest handling the company in a lawsuit. Employees signed the letter on Monday hit the company’s original response. A day later, CEO Bobby Kotick tried to address the accusations and concerns before the planned break and called Activision Blizzard’s response “deaf”. in a public letter. Just before the break, employees responded to Kotick’s letter in turn. saying that it “It doesn’t take a stand on critical factors that are at the heart of employee concerns.”
With a small positive step Overwatch League, owned by Activision Blizzard, undertook on Friday to donate to “worthy things.” But the league took this step later Overwatch League teams Washington Justice and Houston Outlaws together announced Thursday they would donate to RAINN and the big sister.