Activision Blizzard took action on the sexual harassment allegations made by several employees in the workplace. This led to the dismissal of 20 developers and workers, while 20 others are currently facing disciplinary action.
Activision Blizzard Fires 20 Employees
Frances Townsend, the studio’s executive vice president for corporate affairs, decided to fire the employees involved in the harassment allegations.
According to Reuters, the 20 others are facing other types of disciplinary action, but he did not go into detail about it.
The studio’s announcement came as part of a larger update in which Townsend outlined the response to the numerous sexual harassment allegations that have plagued the company since early 2021.
The response included adding three positions to its Ethics team, and the studio will add 19 more in the near future. The studio also promised that it would invest more into its training resources.
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However, it is not clear if the studio’s list includes company veterans Jesse McCree, Luis Barringa, and Jonathan LeCraft, who were dismissed in August, according to Financial Times.
Townsend’s message was sent to employees via email and posted on Activision Blizzard’s official website. It was released on the same day that the company asked courts to halt the proceedings in the meantime.
The proceedings are regarding the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or DFEH’s lawsuit following allegations that the agency had violated its rules.
Activision Blizzard also wants to have the case moved to a court that specializes in litigation with the hopes of stalling or even dismissing the case. The studio had settled with the US Equal Opportunity Commission for a total of $18 million.
Townsend has also been criticized because of the case. In August, she stepped down as the ABK Women’s Network sponsor after she issued a statement saying that the allegations surrounding the company were not true and distorted.
Activision Blizzard was also accused of withholding evidence in a harassment lawsuit in the same month.
The allegations of sexual harassment, abuse of women, and workplace discrimination have surrounded the studio since the lawsuit made headlines earlier this year.
The walkout forced Activision Blizzard to reckon with a pattern of bad behavior spanning more than ten years. The company’s former president J. Allen Brack was dismissed because of it.
Activision Blizzard has since promised the public and its employees that it will address its toxic internal culture while settling all affected employees.
In the meantime, the studio continues to suffer due to talent drain. The studio is also addressing the “frat boy” culture of its male employees. The employees would drink alcohol and engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees.
An incident cited in the lawsuit involves a female employee committing suicide after an inappropriate encounter with a male supervisor on a work trip.
A source who told IGN about what happened in the studio recalled a story about how the breastfeeding room did not have locks and men would just walk in them freely. The men would stare at female employees as they pumped.
Related Article: Blizzard HR Head Jesse Meschuk Leaves Company, After Employees Blame the Department for Issues
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Written by Sophie Webster
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