Activision Blizzard Sued Over "Frat Boy" Culture

Activision Blizzard is being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over a "frat boy" culture. Bloomberg Law has details, saying a two-year investigation alleges "female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation." Here's more:
According to the complaint, filed Tuesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, female employees make up around 20% of the Activision workforce, and are subjected to a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture,” including “cube crawls,” in which male employees “drink copious amounts of alcohol as they crawl their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees.”

The agency alleges male employees play video games during the workday while delegating responsibilities to female employees, engage in sexual banter, and joke openly about rape, among other things.

Female employees allege being held back from promotions because of the possibility they might become pregnant, being criticized for leaving to pick their children up from daycare, and being kicked out of lactation rooms so male colleagues could use the room for meetings, the complaint says.
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42 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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42.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 10:20
42.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 10:20
Jul 23, 2021, 10:20
 
Doesn't surprise me one bit. It is the way of every "good" company. It can only be good for so long until all those "good" people leave to do their own thing. What is hired as the replacements aren't the same "good". From there is just goes down hill. With the size of Blizzard today, it is a corporation and no longer that low key developer that had making quality good games first in mind. It is all about how to squeeze the most profits out of their fanbase with what they have.

I'll always appreciate Blizzard for everything they did up to vanilla WoW. Everything after is, meh.
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41.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 09:26
41.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 09:26
Jul 23, 2021, 09:26
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 23, 2021, 09:05:
Your evaluation could be 100% correct. I was just indicating federal prosecutors are more deliberate with their indictments than state prosecutors, generally speaking...
Most state prosecutors only have to go for the "Probable Cause" standard, so as a general rule you're certainly right there. But it seems that most/all of California asks their prosecutors to be more strict than the Constitution requires.
40.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 09:05
40.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 09:05
Jul 23, 2021, 09:05
 
Your evaluation could be 100% correct. I was just indicating federal prosecutors are more deliberate with their indictments than state prosecutors, generally speaking...
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
39.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 09:02
39.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 09:02
Jul 23, 2021, 09:02
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 23, 2021, 08:37:
roguebanshee wrote on Jul 23, 2021, 08:28:
US governmental departments almost never bring actions against companies (or private citizens) if they're not reasonably certain they'll get a conviction. And here they spent 2 years building the case before deciding to prosecute.
This is more true for federal prosecutions than state cases. If you get indicted in federal case, it is nearly certain they have enough evidence to convict. The federal conviction rate is absurdly high. Basically if they aren't certain they can convict, they don't indict. State cases on the other hand, definitely vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case to case. In this case, I have no idea how good the evidence is.
From what I can find online the guideline for LA prosecutors seems to be "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", which is a stricter standard than the "Probable Cause" requirement found in both the California and US Constitutions. While Probable Cause requires more than "He said. She said." there is still some chance of a jury not being convinced by the prosecutor's evidence.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is "All evidence points towards guilt and there is no indication that we would ever find evidence to the contrary." and for the accused to go free it will usually take some procedural blunder from the prosecutor (see the recent Bill Cosby stuff).

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/beyond_a_reasonable_doubt
38.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 08:37
38.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 08:37
Jul 23, 2021, 08:37
 
roguebanshee wrote on Jul 23, 2021, 08:28:
US governmental departments almost never bring actions against companies (or private citizens) if they're not reasonably certain they'll get a conviction. And here they spent 2 years building the case before deciding to prosecute.
This is more true for federal prosecutions than state cases. If you get indicted in a federal case, it is nearly certain they have enough evidence to convict. The federal conviction rate is absurdly high. Basically if they aren't certain they can convict, they don't indict. State cases on the other hand, definitely vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case to case. In this case, I have no idea how good the evidence is.

This comment was edited on Jul 23, 2021, 08:53.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
37.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 08:28
37.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 08:28
Jul 23, 2021, 08:28
 
Jonjonz wrote on Jul 23, 2021, 06:54:
I don't see this case going anywhere positive unless the state has hard evidence instead of the the old usually counter productive "he said - she said" baloney.
US governmental departments almost never bring actions against companies (or private citizens) if they're not reasonably certain they'll get a conviction. And here they spent 2 years building the case before deciding to prosecute. In California one of the main rules for a public prosecutor is:

(from The State Bar of California)
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(A) Not institute or continue to prosecute a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;
and
(F) When a prosecutor knows of new, credible and material evidence creating a reasonable likelihood that a convicted defendant did not commit an offense of which the defendant was convicted, the prosecutor shall:

(1) Promptly disclose that evidence to an appropriate court or authority

Basically the prosecutor has to be fairly certain the allegations are true and will result in a conviction. Further if there is any evidence that any of the allegations are not true, the prosecutor risks their job and ability to practice law in the future if they don't inform the court as soon as they learn this.
36.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 06:54
36.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 06:54
Jul 23, 2021, 06:54
 
I don't see this case going anywhere positive unless the state has hard evidence instead of the the old usually counter productive "he said - she said" baloney.
"Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss." - The Who.
Avatar 57379
35.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 23, 2021, 04:00
NKD
35.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 23, 2021, 04:00
Jul 23, 2021, 04:00
NKD
 
Unsurprising to hear this stuff about ActiBlizz. Former guildmate and former friend of mine who worked there turned out to be a real piece of shit towards women.
Avatar 43041
34.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 20:36
34.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 20:36
Jul 22, 2021, 20:36
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 20:28:
There's a 0% chance you read the WSJ. If you do, it's just the constantly factually incorrect opinion section.
Oh, I don't know. The WSJ leans fairly hard to the right. I would imagine he usually likes what he sees there.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
33.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 20:36
33.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 20:36
Jul 22, 2021, 20:36
 
osage no onna wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 14:33:
jdreyer wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 13:58:
osage no onna wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 13:26:
The suit also points to a female Activision employee who took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. The employee had been subjected to intense sexual harassment prior to her death, including having nude photos passed around at a company holiday party, the complaint says.

What the article doesn't mention is that said supervisor apparently packed a buttplug and lube for the trip, and no doubt arranged the whole trip in the first place like he was going on some fucking rape holiday.
Do you have a link? The only thing I could find was this:
In one instance that the lawsuit describes as “particularly tragic,” a woman who worked for Blizzard killed herself while on a business trip with a male supervisor with whom she had been having a sexual relationship. The suit also claimed the woman’s male co-workers passed around photos of her naked body at a holiday party before her death.

It's mentioned in the full suit on pages 6 and 15. Maybe elsewhere too; haven't read the whole thing.

I do wonder if this "unnamed supervisor" is Afrasiabi. Anyone know if he scrubbed his online presence before or after the suicide?
Man, that entire complaint is pretty rough. I know that Blizzard issued a pretty strong rebuttal, but there are a ton of accusations in there backing up the "culture" aspect of the complaint. Prosecutors tend not to waste time unless they think they have a strong case, so Blizzard has its work cut out for it.
As for the suicide, apparently they were passing around pics of that poor woman's vagina among coworkers before she committed suicide. Terrible.
I used to work for a SoCal company, and a guy working at Blizzard applied with us, so I interviewed him. He didn't strike me as misogynistic, but he was pretty cocky. That said, he gave me a code for SC2, so that was pretty nice of him. This several weeks after was after he'd already decided the position wasn't for him, so not a conflict of interest.
And while my company was small, our HR dept was by the book. They were super careful to avoid even a whiff of impropriety.
With great freedom comes great responsibility.
Avatar 22024
32.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 20:28
32.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 20:28
Jul 22, 2021, 20:28
 
ColoradoHoudini wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 18:10:
I believe it was the WSJ who had an article talking about how companies were only allowing men to travel with other men just to avoid any possible he said/she said bullshit. Makes sense, because it takes one instance of any (unsubstantiated) claim and he or she has a story that they can never shake.

A girl who works for me claimed some bullying and had dates and times. Problem - there are cameras in the govt facility, and none of what she said was real. However, the guys office got moved and everyone heard he was picking on her etc..his reputation was done. Only after we explained to her the tapes existed, did she say she didnt like him, and wanted him fired and admitted to the lie. Got a girl who works for my wife who said she got picked on and harassed for being a lesbian. Problem - 100% a lie, corroborated as a lie by her female counterparts.. but the jury was out that a man (who was gay mind you), as intolerant and hateful. Solution going forward, not hiring potential problem people who are part of a certain woke culture "victim always" mentality. They did this to themselves.

Sure.
You probably heard this the same place you get your scientific and political news - unsourced and uncited memes.

There's a 0% chance you read the WSJ. If you do, it's just the constantly factually incorrect opinion section.
31.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 19:35
31.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 19:35
Jul 22, 2021, 19:35
 
I am shocked. SHOCKED!
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
30.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 18:41
30.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 18:41
Jul 22, 2021, 18:41
 
Signature reported.
Don't be afraid to do actual research or use actual facts.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-53511877

https://publichealthscotland.scot/
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
Avatar 58135
29.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 18:10
29.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 18:10
Jul 22, 2021, 18:10
 
I believe it was the WSJ who had an article talking about how companies were only allowing men to travel with other men just to avoid any possible he said/she said bullshit. Makes sense, because it takes one instance of any (unsubstantiated) claim and he or she has a story that they can never shake.

A girl who works for me claimed some bullying and had dates and times. Problem - there are cameras in the govt facility, and none of what she said was real. However, the guys office got moved and everyone heard he was picking on her etc..his reputation was done. Only after we explained to her the tapes existed, did she say she didnt like him, and wanted him fired and admitted to the lie. Got a girl who works for my wife who said she got picked on and harassed for being a lesbian. Problem - 100% a lie, corroborated as a lie by her female counterparts.. but the jury was out that a man (who was gay mind you), as intolerant and hateful. Solution going forward, not hiring potential problem people who are part of a certain woke culture "victim always" mentality. They did this to themselves.
28.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 17:19
28.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 17:19
Jul 22, 2021, 17:19
 
Wallshadows wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 16:42:
Turned tables. They have every right to defend themselves and whatnot even though they did an atrocious job with that PR statement but I can't help but think of the time they not only severed ties but also cut all the original Kael'thas voice overs before it was found out that the person who claimed harassment against Quinton Flynn turned out to be crazy stalker who made it all up.

Or the time they immediately nuked all association with Swifty even though the claims of harassment ended up being unfounded.

Of course Blizzard deserves due process to prove their case but if you don't tow the line and even a scent of harassment is in the air then they're going to exterminate your existence from the game and won't even have the balls to say they overreacted when they're wrong.

Run a company these days and risk the civil lawsuit if they don't cut ties... it's unfortunately the horrible state of MUH LAWSUITS these days.
Avatar 57660
27.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 16:42
27.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 16:42
Jul 22, 2021, 16:42
 
Turned tables. They have every right to defend themselves and whatnot even though they did an atrocious job with that PR statement but I can't help but think of the time they not only severed ties but also cut all the original Kael'thas voice overs before it was found out that the person who claimed harassment against Quinton Flynn turned out to be crazy stalker who made it all up.

Or the time they immediately nuked all association with Swifty even though the claims of harassment ended up being unfounded.

Of course Blizzard deserves due process to prove their case but if you don't tow the line and even a scent of harassment is in the air then they're going to exterminate your existence from the game and won't even have the balls to say they overreacted when they're wrong.
Avatar 50040
26.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 14:33
26.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 14:33
Jul 22, 2021, 14:33
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 13:58:
osage no onna wrote on Jul 22, 2021, 13:26:
The suit also points to a female Activision employee who took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. The employee had been subjected to intense sexual harassment prior to her death, including having nude photos passed around at a company holiday party, the complaint says.

What the article doesn't mention is that said supervisor apparently packed a buttplug and lube for the trip, and no doubt arranged the whole trip in the first place like he was going on some fucking rape holiday.
Do you have a link? The only thing I could find was this:
In one instance that the lawsuit describes as “particularly tragic,” a woman who worked for Blizzard killed herself while on a business trip with a male supervisor with whom she had been having a sexual relationship. The suit also claimed the woman’s male co-workers passed around photos of her naked body at a holiday party before her death.

It's mentioned in the full suit on pages 6 and 15. Maybe elsewhere too; haven't read the whole thing.

I do wonder if this "unnamed supervisor" is Afrasiabi. Anyone know if he scrubbed his online presence before or after the suicide?
25.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 14:27
25.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 14:27
Jul 22, 2021, 14:27
 
For real? They don't wait with the child till you come if you call in that you are coming late?
Avatar 54727


So at my kids daycare I think the latest you can get a kid is 630pm. At 631, they charge you an additional $50. At 641, another $50, at 651, another $50. At 7pm - they call CPS.

I think it's something like that. I shouldve made the "pick up window" part a bit more clear.. oops! lol
24.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 14:05
24.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 14:05
Jul 22, 2021, 14:05
 
From WaPo:

Meanwhile, women were offered lower starting wages, fewer promotions and less access to top leadership roles, the suit alleged.
“Very few women ever reach top roles at the company,” the lawsuit said. “The women who do reach higher roles earn less salary, incentive pay and total compensation than their male peers.”
That's going to be pretty easy to verify, one way or the other.
With great freedom comes great responsibility.
Avatar 22024
23.
 
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over
Jul 22, 2021, 14:02
23.
Re: Activision Blizzard Sued Over Jul 22, 2021, 14:02
Jul 22, 2021, 14:02
 
I found this in the WaPo article:
During “cube crawls,” a reference to pub crawls, male employees would drink “copious amounts of alcohol” and visit cubicle after cubicle while harassing the women they passed along the way, according to the lawsuit.
So the company let employees drink at work, on the clock, and then harass other employees who were still working? It has been a good 15 years since any company I worked at allowed drinking at the office, and even then it was only on holidays (Xmas, NY Eve, etc.), and only after 3PM, and only those people that wished to stay on to drink. If you wanted to leave early, you were more than welcome to do so. If true, (and it sounds pretty plausible and frequent given they named the practice "cube crawl") that's a major red flag that something is wrong with the company culture.
With great freedom comes great responsibility.
Avatar 22024
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