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More than 1,000 Activision Blizzard employees have reportedly signed an open letter to the company’s management following their response to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing law suit against the games publisher. The letter was first reported by Bloomberg with Polygon and Kotaku also receiving copies of the document.
“We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for,” the letter states. “To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.”
The open letter is also a response to Activision Blizzard’s statement following the allegations that said the allegations were “distorted” and “false.”
The lawsuit, filed last week by the state agency, alleges Blizzard fostered a “frat boy” culture and impeded female employee’s opportunities and pay at the company. It also included alleged harassment like “cube crawls,” during which male employees would get drunk and harass female employees, going from cube to cube. The suit also revealed the story of a female employee who committed suicide while on a business trip because of her treatment by the male employees at Blizzard.
Recent internal communications and meetings have also been leaked from within the company by Jason Schreier. One, from Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, called the allegations “troubling.” The other is from Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend, doubling down on Blizzard’s original statement.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack sent out an email to staff last night addressing the allegations from this week's explosive lawsuit, calling them "extremely troubling" and saying that he'd be "meeting with many of you to answer questions and discuss how we can move forward." pic.twitter.com/NsMV6CNdTE
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021
The letter goes on to say that the company’s statements have made it clear “that our leadership is not putting our values first” and that actions need to be taken at the highest levels within Blizzard.
“We will not be silenced, we will not stand aside and we will not give up until the company we love is a workplace we can all feel proud to be a part of again,” the letter states. “We will be the change.”
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in their suit against Blizzard.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.