Activision Blizzard sued by California over 'frat boy' workplace culture

A “frat boy” environment is fraught with sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. That’s what Activision Blizzard is accusing of the state of California An explosive lawsuit filed on Tuesday by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

DFEH’s suit formally accuses Activision Blizzard of workplace discrimination. It alleges that women are not only unfairly compensated but also subjected to considerable harassment. The DFEH called Activision Blizzard a “breeding site for harassment and discrimination,” in which women are subjected to routine sexual advances by men, often high-ranking ones, that go largely unpunished.

“Women and girls now make up nearly half of gamers in America, but the gaming industry continues to cater to men,” the suit reads, “with Activision-Blizzard’s double-digit percentage growth, ten-figure annual revenue, and recent diversity.” The marketing campaign has unfortunately changed a bit.”

Activision Blizzard, which publishes titles including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, and had more than $8 billion in revenue last year, is the latest in a line of gaming giants to face criticism over workplace culture. CEO of Riot Games, the company behind the hugely popular League of Legends, accused of sexual harassment By a former employee in February — exactly one year after payment $10 million to more than 1,000 women to settle discrimination lawsuits. last year dozens Ubisoft sexual harassment allegations, which published Assassin’s Creed, which led to resignation of three officers.

An example of the claims DFEH is making against Activision is an office ritual known as a “cube crawl,” in which men allegedly drink “abundant” alcohol, crawl through office cubicles and perform “inappropriately”. behavior” that includes groping. The lawsuit describes confronting incidents, including allegations that a female employee committed suicide during a business trip as a result of a toxic relationship with a supervisor.

Activision-Blizzard strongly denied the suit in a statement released to the media. “DFEH contains distorted, and in many cases false, details of Blizzard’s past,” it said, accusing the State Department of filing hasty and inaccurate reports. The company said it was “sickened” by the involvement of the tragic suicide of an employee whose demise had no bearing on the case.

“DFEH Paint’s picture is not today’s Blizzard workplace. Over the past several years and since the initial investigation began, we have made significant changes to address the company culture and reflect greater diversity within our leadership teams.

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