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Activision Blizzard Sued By California Over ‘Frat Boy’ Culture

SlimySnake

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Video game giant Activision Blizzard Inc., maker of games including World of Warcraft and Diablo, fosters a “frat boy” culture in which female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation, according to a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

A two-year investigation by the state agency found that the company discriminated against female employees in terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, assignment, promotion, and termination. Company leadership consistently failed to take steps to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, the agency said.

According to the complaint, filed Tuesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, female employees make up around 20% of the Activision workforce, and are subjected to a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture,” including “cube crawls,” in which male employees “drink copious amounts of alcohol as they crawl their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees.”

The agency alleges male employees play video games during the workday while delegating responsibilities to female employees, engage in sexual banter, and joke openly about rape, among other things.

Female employees allege being held back from promotions because of the possibility they might become pregnant, being criticized for leaving to pick their children up from daycare, and being kicked out of lactation rooms so male colleagues could use the room for meetings, the complaint says.


One female employee committed suicide on a work trip after her nudes were passed around the office.

Pretty fucked up stuff. Note that this is no vague accusation. This was a 2 year investigation done by the State of California.
 

SlimySnake

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Source? (Not the nudes) As google is showing nothing.
It's in the same article.

The suit also points to a female Activision employee who took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. The employee had been subjected to intense sexual harassment prior to her death, including having nude photos passed around at a company holiday party, the complaint says.
 

Blond

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It's in the same article.
Holy fuck! God I know the word toxic has really been thrown around a lot over the years but that is sick!

I can’t even begin to imagine the pressure that Woman felt that killing herself on a work trip was the way to go out. I hope they pay out the ass for this because I can’t think of a better company that deserves it.
 
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SlimySnake

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Details in this story are wild. Blizzard sounds like an absolute shitshow and it shows in their work of recent years.
The cube crawl is insane. I have never seen that at any workplace.

Reminded me of this scene in Mad Men where they would chase women around and tackle them to the ground to see what color panties they were wearing. But that was in the early 60s.

Timestamped:
 

AJUMP23

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One female employee committed suicide on a work trip after her nudes were passed around the office.
Pretty fucked up stuff. Note that this is no vague accusation. This was a 2 year investigation done by the State of California.
What type of people think that all this is OK. It is weird to me that these super PC cultures are the most vile people in the industry.

Gives a whole new meaning to that executive wanting to know if you have a phone.
 

TransTrender

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One female employee committed suicide on a work trip after her nudes were passed around the office.
The suit also points to a female Activision employee who took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. The employee had been subjected to intense sexual harassment prior to her death, including having nude photos passed around at a company holiday party, the complaint says.
Holy shit!
That's absolutely despicable.

ActiBlizz is going to get absolutely fucked here, and they deserve it. Why is it soo hard to not be shitty?

Pretty fucked up if true, isn't this exactly the same kind of stuff Riot Games was accused of a few years ago?
Pretty much, but this sounds worse.


Someone needs to leak the full suit/complaint here. This is crazy juicy.
 
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MrS

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One female employee committed suicide on a work trip after her nudes were passed around the office.
That is beyond fucked up



Here's the full excerpt from the lawsuit. Absolutely awful
 
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SlimySnake

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What type of people think that all this is OK. It is weird to me that these super PC cultures are the most vile people in the industry.

Gives a whole new meaning to that executive wanting to know if you have a phone.
Yep. This is in LA. These people are wild. The fact that they thought they could get away with this in the MeToo era.
 

nush

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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
I'm a little shocked, I wonder what genius decided that was a good idea.

The workplace culture sounds like a mess, there'll be a much needed clear out after this. But it's too late and very sad for the woman involved.

Activision have many different offices and dev teams, this behavior is more likely to be at one of the devs offices rather than corporate HQ.
 
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AmuroChan

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Tencent must be salivating right now. If this causes Activision stock to tank, you can bet Tencent is ready to swoop in and buy the remaining 95% of the company.
 

TheMay30thMan

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Reads like an episode of Mad Men. This type of workplace culture is disgusting.
What type of people think that all this is OK. It is weird to me that these super PC cultures are the most vile people in the industry.

Gives a whole new meaning to that executive wanting to know if you have a phone.
What?
 

AlteredForms

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Always assumed the stereotypical frat-boy image emerged on the Eastern United States. All those prestigious universities with NCAA D1 football programmes, filled to the brim with mindless inebriated dude bros. "WHOSE NUMBER ONE, WE ARE. WHOSE NUMBER TWO, WHO GIVES A FUCK!!! OHIO STATE RULESSS. WHOOOO!!!!
 

Nevan

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The last time I gave my opinion on liberal California, I had my post deleted, so I'm staying out of this one...
But Blizz sucks these days though, and this situation is not ok.
 
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Dr Bass

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What type of people think that all this is OK. It is weird to me that these super PC cultures are the most vile people in the industry.

Gives a whole new meaning to that executive wanting to know if you have a phone.
You're surprised that holier-than-thou types end up being hypocrites?
 
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“FRAT”?

This shit is sick. When I was a teen, same shit happened to a girl in HS. The amount of bullying she got from her nude photo was shameful. But they were stupid edgy horny teens. The amount of harm people do to others, that they themselves wouldnt be able to take is disgusting.
 

Renozokii

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What type of people think that all this is OK. It is weird to me that these super PC cultures are the most vile people in the industry.

Gives a whole new meaning to that executive wanting to know if you have a phone.
Hilarious you ready any of this and walked away thinking it was the pc culture people. I promise you the execs that knew this stuff was going and participated could care less about the stuff.
 

BadBurger

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Get vaccinated
No wonder they haven't made a good game or expansion since Wrath of the Lich King. What a disgusting workplace. Their response is bullshit - if they were at all sincere all of the leadership would have been fired and replaced by now. These aren't the kinds of things one can be all "whoopsie! But hey we conduct annual training now and have implemented programs even though it's still all of the same people here, lol, also the State of California sucks" about. They don't even sound apologetic.
 

SlimySnake

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No wonder they haven't made a good game or expansion since Wrath of the Lich King. What a disgusting workplace. Their response is bullshit - if they were at all sincere all of the leadership would have been fired and replaced by now. These aren't the kinds of things one can be all "whoopsie! But hey we conduct annual training now and have implemented programs even though it's still all of the same people here, lol, also the State of California sucks" about. They don't even sound apologetic.
Yeah, their response is oddly bullish given they didnt actually deny the accusations.