High-Profile Gaming Company Discriminates Against Women and Minorities

Activision Blizzard accused of toxic work environment and sex discrimination

Activision Blizzard, the giant gaming company behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush, faces extreme legal ramifications from multiple government agencies. Allegations against the company stem from its' abhorrently toxic work environment flooded with pay bias, sexual harassment, assault, and a downright "frat boy" company culture.

The Santa Monica - based company addressed the complaints of workplace discrimination and said it is working to address the issues.

In late July, California's civil rights agency sued the company, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Employees even staged a walkout to protest what they said was Activision's culture of sexism and discrimination.

Although nearly half of the gaming community is comprised of women, “the gaming industry continues to cater towards men”, according to the suit. Activision Blizzard’s staff is comprised of a mere 20% female employees, and to add insult to injury the women are paid less than their male counterparts, the suit says.

The women who work at Activision are also subjected to “constant sexual harassment” including groping and inappropriate comments and advances, according to the suit. It also accuses the top-level executives within the company of refusing to act and curb the discriminatory behavior. The company often retaliated against women who complained and, in some cases, perpetrated the harassment themselves.

The government agency bringing the allegations detail an insane tradition in the office called "cube crawls," in which male employees drink "copious amounts of alcohol" and "crawl" their way through various cubicles, sometimes groping their female colleagues.

"Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and joke about rape," the DFEH says.

It wasn’t until multiple lawsuits were filed that the company stated in a press release that the company “continues to productively engage with regulators,” including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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