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Gaming firm Activision to evaluate executives after sex bias allegations

Gaming firm Activision to evaluate executives after sex bias allegations

A woman walks past a poster of Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty” video game afp_tickers

This content was published on Jul 28, 2021 – 12:15

(AFP)

Activision Blizzard CEO Wednesday (28th) announced a series of measures, including the evaluation of its executives, to combat sexism and harassment within the electronic games company.

“We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the company,” Bobby Kotik said in a statement to employees consulted by AFP.

Kotick announced that law firm WilmerHale would review the firm’s practices, which threatened to “fire” anyone “found to have impeded the integrity of its complaints review processes.”

Kotick admitted that the company was “frankly deaf” to early complaints of sexism in the workplace.

“Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my top priority,” the CEO said in the letter. “The management team listened loud and clear.”

He added that the company “will continue to investigate every complaint” of sexism on Activision “and will not hesitate to act.”

Video game giant Activision Blizzard has become the target of a series of allegations of sexism, discrimination and sexual harassment by its employees in a lawsuit brought by a California agency.

The state’s Department of Housing and Fair Employment (DFEH) filed a civil lawsuit last week, alleging that the “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” creator violated state laws by allowing a “culture of machismo in the workplace.”

In the latest case of allegations of sexism in the video game industry, the lawsuit alleges that the California company “nurtured a sexist culture and paid women less than men, even though they did essentially the same work; a lower level and promoted them at a slower pace than men” .

It also claims that the women “experienced ongoing sexual harassment, including harassment, comments and insinuations” and that the executives were aware of this but did not act. Instead, they retaliated against the women who reported the situation, according to a statement from the state agency.

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleges that the women were subjected to a practice called in English “cube crawl” – a reference to “cube crawl,” a type of tour of bars – in which drunk men would go from room to room engaged in “misconduct”. with their co-workers.

An employee committed suicide while on a business trip with a co-worker who took sex toys, according to the lawsuit.

Kotick’s statement comes as about 50 Activision Blizzard employees are expected to strike Wednesday at its campus in Irvine, Southern California, to protest the company’s sexism.

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