Inside Activision Blizzard petition rebukes “abhorrent, insulting” management

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Within the wake of a sexual harassment and pay-disparity lawsuit filed in opposition to Activision Blizzard, an inside petition has begun circulating on the gaming firm. Its textual content, as independently verified by a number of shops, comes down in opposition to management’s private and non-private response to the swimsuit’s allegations.

Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier and Kotaku’s Ethan Gach reprinted content material from the identical petition, and each reporters declare that the petition has racked up “over 1,000 signatures” from present and former Activision Blizzard staffers as of press time. The petition begins by describing a public firm assertion provided within the wake of July 20’s lawsuit, and a private, staffwide memo sent by Activision executive vice president Frances Townsend, as “abhorrent and insulting to all that we imagine our firm ought to stand for.”

“We won’t be silenced”

Activision Blizzard’s statements from attorneys and executives final week alleged that the California State’s lawsuit’s allegations had been “distorted, and in lots of instances false,” and the petition goals its phrases squarely at that characterization. The letter argues that such a company response “creates an organization ambiance that disbelieves victims” and “casts doubt on our organizations’ means to carry abusers accountable for his or her actions and foster a secure setting for victims to return ahead sooner or later.”

The petition continues:

Our firm executives have claimed that actions shall be taken to guard us, however within the face of authorized motion—and the troubling official responses that adopted—we not belief that our leaders will place worker security above their very own pursuits. To assert it is a “actually meritless and irresponsible lawsuit,” whereas seeing so many present and former workers converse out about their very own experiences concerning harassment and abuse, is solely unacceptable.

It concludes with a name for the corporate to make public statements that acknowledge “the seriousness of those allegations” and for Townsend to “step down” from her place on the Activision Blizzard King Worker Ladies’s Community. “We won’t be silenced, we won’t stand apart, and we won’t quit till the corporate we love is a office we will all really feel proud to be part of once more,” the petition provides in closing. “We would be the change.”

After the lawsuit was filed, many former Activision Blizzard staffers used social media so as to add their very own allegations to the general public file and ensure their particular person contributions to the California State investigation. In one of the longest and most detailed lists of recent public allegations, a former Blizzard staffer (and creator of the corporate’s first inside “[email protected]” mailing listing) alleged the next:

  • A repeated experiment proved {that a} mission director would flip down concepts proposed by a lady, then would approve the identical concepts as provided by male colleagues days later.
  • A senior white male engineer had a status for unsnapping girls’s undergarments by way of their shirts on the office, and anxious staffers had been advised to “recover from it” as they watched mentioned engineer get “repeatedly promoted and rewarded.”
  • Management refused a staffer’s use of Blizzard branding to create an “It Will get Higher” video that supported LGBTQIA youth—and was advised “We can’t be doing that, right here.”

“You advised me to stay to what I’m good at”

The linked thread factors to different public allegations made by former staffers, which vary from particular person allegations to bigger complaints about staffwide tradition at Blizzard and Activision. Considered one of these is a reply to former Blizzard government Chris Metzen, who used Twitter to distance himself from Alex Afrasiabi—himself a former chief of the World of Warcraft workforce, who is known as within the California State lawsuit as an alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment and assault. The reply to Metzen, from ex-Blizzard staffer Connie Griffith, alleged that “you’re the one who advised me I ought to follow what I am good at, which was apparently taking notes and organizing conferences. Strategy to mentor junior feminine expertise.”

Talking of Afrasiabi, an unearthed video from BlizzCon 2010 started circulating shortly after the lawsuit was filed. It confirmed Afrasiabi, present Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, and different WoW management responding to a lady’s query about wanting characters within the recreation that “do not seem like they stepped out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog.” The all-male panel responded with a number of jokes disparaging the query, with one particularly asking, “which catalog would you want them to step out of?”

This video’s recirculation prompted one of many panel’s members, former WoW lead designer Greg Avenue, to acknowledge the video on Twitter and reply flatly, “Look, it was a shitty reply on the time, and it definitely hasn’t aged nicely. I want I had mentioned one thing higher again then.” He proceeded to insist that, “little question, that will not be my final shitty reply,” then doubled down and claimed that “the one technique to get higher is to [talk to players] lots,” with out acknowledging one key allegation introduced up time and again within the wake of the Golden State lawsuit: that Blizzard management usually didn’t take heed to, acknowledge, and make house for girls’s issues—and even retaliated in opposition to those that did so.



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