The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) reports that the famous game publishing studio Blizzard Entertainment, and the company Activision Blizzard, have created a culture of "continuous sexual harassment" and discrimination based on gender, in a new which claims that top executives knew or were involved. And a few hours after the revelation of the lawsuit, many women have already confirmed the allegations.
The details are so annoying that we will start with a warning that you may be bothered by what you read. Let's look at the allegations in the lawsuit:
Female employees almost universally confirmed that working for the accused was similar to working in a home where male employees could drink and insult women by sexually harassing them without effect. The behavior of male employees in the offices was similar. Male employees would play video games during their work, talk about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and make a lot of jokes about rape.
As a product of this culture, women have suffered a lot of sexual comments and unwanted physical contact and other forms of harassment. A female employee noted that random male employees would approach her at work and comment on her breasts. Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would fall for it, make comments promoting rape, or generally engage in offensive behavior. This behavior was known to and supervised and even encouraged by them, including a male supervisor who openly encouraged a subordinate man to "buy" a prostitute to set his mood.
Activision Blizzard President J. Allen Brack is specifically known for knowing and allowing this behavior. World of Warcraft Senior Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi is also specifically named:
Alex Afrasiabi, the former Senior Creative Director of World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment, was involved in blatant sexual harassment with little or no impact. During a corporate event, Afrasiabi tried to reach out to some working women, telling them he wanted to marry them, trying to kiss them and put his arms around them. This was notified to the supervisory authorities who intervened to resolve the issue. Afrasiabi was so well-known for harassing women that his suite was named "Crosby Suite" by a man convicted of rape. Bill Cosby.
Since the lawsuit was filed, at least five former Blizzard employees have appeared in social media to confirm that they have been sexually harassed or that they have seen it happen. We will not integrate their posts without the necessary permission, as we are worried that they may be targeted on the internet as well.
Source of information: theverge.com