Activision Blizzard Sexual Misconduct case: More staffers fired, says WSJ

    Some 37 people have “exited” Activision Blizzard Inc. and 44 have been disciplined in response to allegations of sexual harassment.
    By BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on Jan 18 2022, 09:44 AM IST
    Activision Blizzard has been hit by employee protests and a lawsuit alleging the company enabled toxic workplace conditions and sexual harassment against women. (In pic: Bobby Kotick)
    Activision Blizzard has been hit by employee protests and a lawsuit alleging the company enabled toxic workplace conditions and sexual harassment against women. (In pic: Bobby Kotick) (AFP)
    Activision Blizzard has been hit by employee protests and a lawsuit alleging the company enabled toxic workplace conditions and sexual harassment against women. (In pic: Bobby Kotick)
    Activision Blizzard has been hit by employee protests and a lawsuit alleging the company enabled toxic workplace conditions and sexual harassment against women. (In pic: Bobby Kotick) (AFP)

    Some 37 people have “exited” Activision Blizzard Inc. and 44 have been disciplined in response to allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct at the company, according to a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal.  Activision disclosed in October as part of an internal investigation that more than 20 employees have “exited” and at least 20 others have received disciplinary action. The paper cited a company spokeswoman for the higher numbers.

    Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick held back a report summarizing the actions that was due to be released before the winter holidays, telling people it could make the company’s problems appear bigger than was known, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not name. More than three dozen staff had been fired or pushed out, the paper reported, citing the people.

    Representatives for Activision Blizzard didn’t immediately respond to a request from Bloomberg for comment. 

    The Santa Monica, California-based business has been facing a reckoning after a July lawsuit accused it of fostering a “frat boy” culture of sexual harassment and discrimination.

    Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzardhad announced on October 28, 2021 measures intended to strengthen anti-harassment protections at the video game giant -- including a cut to his salary -- following accusations of discrimination against women at the firm. California-based Activision has been hit by employee protests and a state lawsuit alleging the company enabled toxic workplace conditions and sexual harassment against women.

    Riot Games Settles Gender Discrimination Suit for $100 Million

    (Bloomberg) -- Riot Games Inc., a Tencent Holdings Ltd. subsidiary, settled a 2018 gender discrimination class-action suit by agreeing to pay $100 million in compensation and legal fees.

    The settlement agreement announced Monday stipulates that Riot will pay $80 million to all current and former employees and contractors who identify as women and worked for Riot at any time since Nov. 2014. The payment will be distributed via a fund, pending court approval. A further $20 million will cover attorneys’ fees and miscellaneous expenses, and Riot has agreed to have its pay processes overseen by a third party for a period of three years, the company said in a statement.

    “This is a great day for the women of Riot Games – and for women at all video game and tech companies – who deserve a workplace that is free of harassment and discrimination,” said Genie Harrison, whose law firm represented the plaintiffs. “We appreciate Riot’s introspection and work since 2018 toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive company, its willingness to take responsibility for its past, and its commitment to continued fairness and equality in the future.”

    The video games industry has been going through a period of reckoning around sexism, both in the content of the entertainment it produces and in the workplace. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which took part in the suit against Riot Games, has been at the forefront of this push. It also sued Activision Blizzard Inc. over its “frat boy” culture this summer, leading to a settlement that produced an $18 million fund for alleged victims of discrimination or harassment at the company.

    Partying and Sexism Were Long Part of Blizzard’s Office Culture

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    First Published Date: 18 Jan, 09:44 AM IST
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