Another day, another damning claim about Activision Blizzard execs and managers being a bunch of terribly corrupt scum. As first reported by Polygon, the employee, named Christine, spoke publicly in a press conference about the issue. According to the streamed conference, she faced reprisal after bringing complaints of abuse to the HR department.
The employee attested to the alleged “frat boy culture detrimental to women,” which has been a central part of the recent misconduct scandal. The issue for Christine came to a head when a supervisor propositioned her for sex. She later filed a complaint with HR over the experience, and claims she got demoted over it.
Bloom and Christine have outlined a series of demands for Activision Blizzard, including a “streamlined, fast, [and] fair process for victims,” along with an expansive victim compensation fund. They also asked for a neutral third party to review the claims made against Activision Blizzard.
An Activision Blizzard spokesperson provided Polygon with the following statement:
We appreciate the courage of our current and former employees in coming forward with reports of misconduct, and we are truly sorry for any victims of people whose conduct did not live up to our values. As we have continued to reaffirm in our recent communications, such conduct is not consistent with our standards, our expectations, and what the vast majority of our employees meet on a daily basis. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct, harassment or retaliation of any kind. We will not tolerate any behavior that is not aligned to our values and will hold employees accountable who fail to live up to them.
The company is committed to creating an environment we can all be proud of. We are in the process of implementing significant changes and improvements to the scope, structure and efficiency of our compliance and human resources teams, reporting systems, and transparency into our investigation process. The safety and support of our employees, especially those who have suffered, remains our top priority.
Activision Blizzard was sued in July by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) after a two-year investigation into the company. It would seem that this issue is a lot more widespread than anyone could have believed.
And with these new claims, the issues with the current state of Activision Blizzard become even clearer. The original allegations alleged a culture of abuse and harassment empowered and protected by those at the top. Various issues with labor abuses exacerbated the problem. The company already doubled down, saying that the C-suite was basically immune from a zero-tolerance policy that had been put in place in response to these issues.
Hundreds of employees have already pushed for Kotick’s resignation, and signed a petition demanding such. Some of those same employees also staged another walkout in protest. And with the new claims from this employee, those fires of backlash will burn ever brighter.
Some people have doubted the veracity of these claims, but it’s hard to argue with the sheer volume of evidence and testimony at this point. Whatever the truth of these allegations, it does prove one thing. Namely, that HR departments aren’t really there for employees, they exist to protect the company.