Legal action beginning in July of 2021 against the video game company Activision Blizzard has uncovered serious instances of abuse, rape, and suicide. Documents show that CEO Bobby Kotick knew about this mistreatment, and that the Human Resources department at Activision did nothing about numerous complaints for years.
Sexual harassment in the workplace creates a waking nightmare for employees. The harm done to their careers, financial prospects, and mental health are real, and sometimes even deadly. Holding toxic workplaces, bosses, and managers legally accountable for such abuse is one of the most powerful actions you can take.
The Pride Law Firm is part of a team of firms that have brought a class action suit against the Activision Blizzard company. If you need to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Activision Blizzard or any other degrading workplace, contact The Pride Law Firm at 619-516-8166 right away. If you need more information on what happened at Activision Blizzard, read on.
What began as an investigation into sexual and race-based harassment at Activision has now revealed horrific information about the severity of the abuse. The next section details the new revelations, but here is a brief timeline of the Activision Blizzard games sexual harassment saga of 2021:
The lawsuits against Activision Blizzard are still pending, and for those who have a case against them, you can have your voice heard by contacting Jessica Pride and The Pride Law Firm at 619-516-8166. The energy of the #MeToo movement is still going strong, with survivors coming together to find justice and create a better future.
Though there are many types of sexual assault, a general sexual harassment definition is unwelcome or inappropriate behavior like sexual remarks or physical advances in a professional or social situation. In the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination are clearly documented. Those accusations include:
These are the allegations made in the original lawsuit, but November of 2021 revealed two new damning pieces of information. First, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick knew of this toxic behavior for years previous to the DFEH lawsuit. Second, the discriminatory practices are still happening to the newly appointed (and recently resigned) female Co-Leader of Blizzard, Jen Oneal. Here are those details:
On November 16, a new report by the Wall Street Journal showed that Bobby Kotick not only knew about sexual abuse allegations at the company for years, he actively withheld that information from the company’s board. This contradicts his initial denials of the allegations in Activision’s first response to the DFEH lawsuit.
The email sent regarding rapes in 2016 and 2017 referred to incidents that a female employee reported to HR and her other supervisors, but no one took action. It was only after she left the company and hired an attorney that any acknowledgment was made in a private, out-of-court settlement where the terms are unknown.
The people managing Activision Blizzard through this incident are still the very people who allowed the rot to fester.
Even when old management is replaced, the culture at Activision Blizzard is still toxic. Case in point, the now former co-leader of Blizzard, Jen Oneal, who left the position after three months due to more discrimination.
After Blizzard president J. Allen Brack resigned on August 3, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra stepped in as co-leaders. By November 2, Oneal had stepped down. In the same report exposing Activision’s Kotick of complicity in company-wide sexual abuse, the reason for Oneal’s departure were also revealed.
Oneal herself had previously experienced harassment at Blizzard. In taking on a leadership role, she saw it as an opportunity to steer the company in a healing direction. Instead, she was “tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against” as a gay Asian-American woman, according to her own statement. She was also infuriatingly paid less than Mike Ybarra, her male counterpart in a co-equal position.
Oneal stated she was only offered a contract equal to Ybarra’s after she resigned, and despite both of them asking for pay parity (equality) together. According to Oneal, those joint requests were repeatedly rejected by the company.
Even as Activision Blizzard scrambles to suppress these details and put on a new face for investors, their discriminatory practices persist. Companies as large as this global gaming empire have systematic problems that must be fully revealed and completely changed from the top down.
Legal action against large corporations shines a light into dark corners, and helps free people from silence.
The Activision Blizzard sexual harassment lawsuit of summer 2021 was only the beginning. According to Forbes, Activision’s stock shares have plunged nearly 26% since the initial allegations, wiping out a significant portion of their gains during a year of pandemic lockdown game-playing, and bringing down their market value by nearly $19 billion.
As this case gains attention, more people feel safe enough to speak their truths about the behavior at Activision Blizzard and at other corporations and companies, large and small. This is the benefit that legal action has: it shines a light in dark corners, and helps free people from silence.
If you have a story to tell about workplace harassment and need legal representation, reach out to The Pride Law Firm through our online contact form or by calling 619-516-8166. We are currently in the process of holding Activision Blizzard accountable, and are ready to fight for you too.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, or workplace sexual harassment we are here to answer your questions, provide a free and confidential case evaluation, and connect you to resources. By contacting us, you consent to receive marketing communications and other advertisements from The Pride Law Firm.
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