July 29, 2021

Employees Protest Against Activision Blizzard

In protest of a major US gaming company’s alleged “frat boy” culture, its employees staged a massive walkout on Wednesday morning, 28 July.

Last week, Activision Blizzard – who have created popular game franchises such “Call of Duty” and “Overwatch” – were served legal papers by the California’s Department of Fair Employment following a two-year investigation into its workplace conduct.

According to the lawsuit, female employees were sexually harassed by male colleagues, as well as discriminated against and paid unequally, if not paid at all.

In response, hundreds of employees gathered outside Activision’s headquarters in Irvine, California, bearing placards that bore words such as: “Women in the video game industry deserve a safe place to work.”

Per a US media outlet’s interview with a walkout representative, the protestors demanded Activision Blizzard to “end mandatory arbitration clauses in employee contracts”; improve equity and diversity; publish salary and promotion data, and hire an outside firm to audit the executive team.

Another representative said: “We’re taking something that has existed and permeated through the gaming industry for decades and beginning to build a movement. So it’s important to remember where we came from with our demands, what the end goal is and not lose sight of it.”

The company is reportedly seeking legal advice on how to introduce the necessary workplace changes and investigate claims from employees.

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