Ubisoft employees have written an open letter expressing their solidarity with Activision Blizzard employees who are taking part in a walk to protest the company’s response to a lawsuit alleging discrimination and sexual harassment against the company. The letter, which seconds Axios has been signed by nearly 500 current and former Ubisoft employees, it also calls on Ubisoft management to address the company's own problems with misconduct and abuse.
"To the workers of Activision Blizzard, we listen to you and want to declare out loud our solidarity with you," the letter states. "Over the past week, the gaming industry has been shaken again by revelations that many of us have known for a long time. Revelations that a year ago many were hearing about Ubisoft."
"It is clear from the frequency of these reports that there is a widespread and deeply rooted culture of abusive behavior in the industry. It should no longer be a surprise to anyone: employees, executives, journalists or fans that these hateful acts it is time to stop being shocked. We must demand that real measures be taken to prevent them. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. "
Activision Blizzard employees are currently organizing a day work stalks spurred by last week's demand, as well as the company's initial response: some executives, such as Blizzard President J. Allen Brack and Activision President Rob Kostich they acknowledged the claims as "completely unacceptable" and "deeply disturbing", but Frances Townsend, director of compliance for Activision Blizzard, dismissed the claim as "false" and "really wrong". One week later, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick acknowledged that the company's response was "deaf."
Following the expression of solidarity with Activision Blizzard employees, the authors of the letter focus on Ubisoft's own problems.
"We, the undersigned, have had enough," he says. "It's been more than a year since the first revelations of systemic discrimination, harassment and bullying came out on Ubisoft. At that time, you acted surprised to learn that these acts were happening in your own company and we gave you the Advantage of Doubt However, we have seen nothing more than a year of kind words, empty promises and the inability or unwillingness to eliminate known criminals. We no longer trust your commitment to address these issues in the background. You need to do more. "
The letter alleges that Ubisoft's management has only taken action against "the most public offenders", while others have been allowed to resign or have been transferred or, in some cases, promoted outside the problems they caused. He demands that they be fired and also calls for "a seat at the table [for employees] when deciding how to move forward from here".
Here is the full letter. Not only does he stay with AB workers, but he only criticizes Ubisoft bosses. It demands action and change across the industry, with the participation of publishers and developers. pic.twitter.com/WMNmRHjrq0July 28, 2021
Several senior Ubisoft employees, including Vice President Maxime Beland, Creative Director Serge Hascoët, Managing Director of Canadian Studies Yannis Mallat and Global Human Resources Manager Cécile Cornet left Ubisoft after allegations of misconduct throughout the company, but none were fired; Ubisoft Singapore managing director Hugues Ricour was fired in late 2020 following an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment, but was not fired either: instead, he was moved to headquarters from Ubisoft in Paris and now serves as director of production intelligence.
Beyond demanding internal house cleaning at Ubisoft, employees also proposed an industry-wide approach to addressing an industry-wide problem, calling on Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and "other publishers and developers." industry leaders ”to work together to create abusive behavior management processes.
"This collaboration should largely involve employees in non-managerial positions and union representatives," the letter says. "This is essential to ensure that those who are directly affected by these behaviors are leading the change."
In response to the open letter, Ubisoft issued a statement pledging to work with employees to enact new changes to the company, although it did not address any specific details.
"We have carefully read the letter signed by former and current Ubisoft employees," Ubisoft said. "We have a deep respect for the commitment of our teams that are driving change in our industry. We want to be very clear that we take this letter and the issues it raises very seriously. Over the past year, we have been committed to it. work with our employees to promote fundamental change, many of which have been driven by internal feedback and ideas shared by our teams, and we appreciate this ongoing communication.
"Ubisoft has made significant and significant changes that seek to create a safe and inclusive work environment for all, and there is still more work to be done. We are absolutely behind these efforts and the positive impact they have had. in our business culture, recognizing that we must continue to work with our employees to ensure that we are creating a workplace where they feel valued, supported and, above all, safe. "
A recent report in the French newspaper Le Télégramme indicates that some Ubisoft employees and fans do not believe that a significant change has taken place, but, like Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft is also facing legal action for allegations of abuse in the workplace: Earlier this month, the French workers' union Solidaires Informatique filed a complaint against the company alleging that executives, including CEO Yves Guillemot, have allowed and fostered the culture of "l & # 39; Institutional sexual harassment "in the company.