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News video games 23 July 2021, 20:12

author: Szarmancki

Blizzard President Takes the Floor on Sexual Harassment Accusations [UPDATED]

President of Blizzard Entertainment commented on sexual harassment and mobbing at Activision Blizzard in an email to colleagues. His opinion on the subject seems a tad contradictory than the company's official statement.


Jason Schreier, a popular journalist who works for Bloomberg, shared another email to the Activision Blizzard team on his official Twitter account. This time the author of the message is the company's director Fran Townsend, and its content are even less in angreement with the words of J. Allen Brack quoted below. At the end, Schreier adds that the message has angered some employees of the company.

What is worth mentioning, and what the journalist reported in his post - Townsend served as George W. Bush's homeland security adviser from 2004 to 2007. This suggests her undoubted experience in dealing with situations similar to the one currently affecting Activision Blizzard.

The director supports the company's official position on sexual harassment and mobbing allegations (described below), in short she outright denies them, claiming that they are false and that the victims' stories are old (even 10 years old) or taken out of context.

In the message we can read, among others, that Activision Blizzard is a place with a strict approach to inappropriate or hostile work environment and sexual harassment. Townsend argues that all employees undergo mandatory training on equality and diversity, including anti-harassment. Additionally, he says that at Activision, everyone is paid uniformly for equal or substantially similar work, and promotions are given on merit. She says that the company is fair and values equality, and that management is committed to maintaining safety, culture and respect for all employees.

Original message

Yesterday, we reported on a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision's holding company Blizzard. Today, J. Allen Brack, i.e. the president of Blizzard Entertainment, spoke on this case, which concerns mobbing and sexual harassment of female employees of the company. He expressed his position in the form of an e-mail to colleagues, in which he wrote that he is concerned about the harm and allegations of current and former employees.

Blizzard President Takes the Floor on Sexual Harassment Accusations [UPDATED] - picture #1

Brack also added that he finds the conduct detailed in the allegations unacceptable and that no one at the holding company should face discrimination or harassment - everyone should feel safe within the company. He also suggests that people lack the courage to bring their unpleasant experiences to the attention of management and asks them to take such matters seriously and, if they arise, to be thoroughly investigated. Brack also mentioned that he despises the "frat boy culture", and diversity in terms of backgrounds, opinions and experiences is necessary for Blizzard, its teams and the gaming community itself to function properly.

The words of Blizzard's president may seem a bit contradictory to the the official position of Activision Blizzard. The holding company accuses the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) of a hastily filed and inaccurate complaint. Additionally, it is outraged with the organization's use of information about the tragic death of their former employee against it. However, Brack's position may be understood as a confirmation of sexual harassment of women taking place in the company if only because of his negative attitude towards this type of behaviour.

Bungie also referred to the case, which cooperated with Activision Blizzard for 8 years. Representatives of the company conveyed, through an extensive tweet, that they had nothing to do with yesterday's allegations of harassment or sexual assault against female employees of Activision and that they have never engaged in any such conduct. Bungie claims that people confiding in their experiences are not out to gain anything and their credibility should not be questioned. They do not, however, assure us that similar behavior has not previously occurred within their own ranks, but are confident that if they do occur they will not be tolerated.

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