Game Company Employees Stage A Walkout Over Pay And Sexism

Activision Blizzard employees are protesting treatment of women, and what a California lawsuit calls the company’s “frat boy” culture.

By Shelly BrisbinJuly 29, 2021 12:36 pm, , , ,

On Wednesday, hundreds of employees at Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest video game companies, staged a one-day walkout. Their goal was to draw attention to claims of widespread sexual harassment and “frat boy” culture inside the company behind the games “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty.” The charges came to light following a lawsuit filed by the state of California.

Activision Blizzard has some 9,500 employees and operates several game studios in Texas. Tech expert Omar Gallaga told Texas Standard that Activision Blizzard is responsible for some of the most “wildly popular video game franchises out there.”

Highlights from this segment: 

– California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard because of alleged persistent sexism, pay imbalances between men and women and harassment.

– The death by suicide of an employee who had been harassed while working at the company, and who had had a relationship with a male supervisor, was an important revelation in the investigation.

– Activision Blizzard’s official response was dismissive of the lawsuit and employees’ criticism, but current and former leaders at the company have been more supportive of employees’ claims.

– More than 1,000 employees have signed a letter demanding revisions to the company’s recruiting, hiring and promotion practices, as well as an independent review of the company’s practices and executive team.

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