More than 1,500 current and former Activision Blizzard employees have signed a letter condemning the company's response to a lawsuit alleging discrimination, sexual harassment and "frat boy" culture in the company. . "The statements of Activision Blizzard, Inc. and its legal counsel … are nasty and insulting to everything we believe our company should represent," the employees' statement says.
The letter, which seconds Kotaku was sent to managers today, was motivated by Activision Blizzard's response to the lawsuit and, in particular, an internal note issued by compliance manager Frances Frances Townsend dismissing the lawsuit. Townsend claimed the lawsuit presented "a distorted and false image of [Activision Blizzard], including incorrect, old, out-of-context stories, some from more than a decade ago."
"We believe these statements have damaged our constant pursuit of equality inside and outside our industry," the letter from employees says. "Classifying claims that have been made as 'distorted and, in many cases, false' creates a business environment that does not believe in victims. It also calls into question the ability of our organizations to take responsibility. abusers of their actions and fostering a safe environment for victims. present yourself in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership does not put our values first. "
"Our company's executives have stated that steps will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action – and the worrying official responses that followed – we no longer trust our leaders to put employee safety above their own. "It's a really deserving and irresponsible lawsuit," while seeing so many current and former employees talk about their own experiences of harassment and abuse is simply unacceptable. "
The letter calls for statements from Activision Blizzard executives that "recognize the seriousness of these allegations" and that Townsend be relinquished her position as executive sponsor of ABK's Women for Employees Network [Activision Blizzard King]. Employees also want company leadership to work with them on new efforts to ensure that employees, as well as community members, "have a safe place to talk" about misconduct.
The number of signatories continues to grow and accounts for a significant portion of Activision Blizzard, which reported approximately 9,500 employees by the end of 2020. Employees have also been backing away from the company’s response. on social media, and former Blizzard leaders, including Mike Morhaime and Chris Metzen, have apologized for not protecting their employees.