What's new

Blizzard Employee Holds Public Press Conference Detailing Experience With Harassment and 'Alcohol-Soaked Culture'

Attorney Lisa Bloom and Christine, a current Blizzard employee, held a press conference outside of Blizzard headquarters in Irvine, California today to share her story about the “alcohol-soaked culture of sexual harassment” at the company.

Christine appeared in front of a crowd in front of Blizzard’s headquarters today to describe her experience at the company she’s been with for the past four years. Christine spoke about her elation when she was first hired and how it turned to horror as she became subject to repeated sexual advances and comments. She also says a supervisor propositioned her for sex.

After making a complaint, Christine described encountering retaliation from the company including receiving a demotion and denying her full profit-sharing. Christine also described avoiding the company’s social events to avoid being inappropriately touched.

In a follow-up statement from Bloom, the lawyer made public demands of Activision Blizzard including a new, “streamlined” process for victims as well as a victim compensation fund of $100 million led by victim advocates.

In a statement to IGN, Activision Blizzard says it appreciates the courage of current and former employees who come forward with reports of misconduct and reaffirmed its commitment to “creating an environment we can all be proud of.”

Bloom is well-known for taking on high-profile sexual assault and harassment cases having represented women in cases involving Bill O’Reilly and Bill Cosby but has also advised Harvey Weinstein during his sexual abuse case.

The press conference is just the most recent event all tracing back to the details revealed in the California Depart of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in July. The lawsuit revealed details of a frat-boy culture permeating the company and sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

In November, Jen Oneal, who was appointed to co-lead Blizzard alongside Mike Ybarra, announced she would be stepping down and it was later revealed Oneal was offered less compensation for her role than her male counterpart.

While Activision Blizzard continues to reaffirm its commitments to improvement, reports revealed Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly knew about harassment allegations personally and did not disclose these allegations to the board. All three major gaming hardware manufacturers, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo have privately expressed concerns with the company to their own employees.

IGN has a report with the inside perspective of Activision Blizzard employees as well as a timeline of events with details on everything that has happened so far in regards to the famed developer behind games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch.

Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.

Continue reading...