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Activision Blizzard Employees To Stage Walkout To Protest Company's Work Culture On Wednesday

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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In response to how management has handled the blowback since a California agency brought a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging, among other things, sexual discrimination and harassment at the company, employees of the gaming giant are staging a walkout on Wednesday in protest. 

According to WoWHead, the move comes after over 1000 employees co-signed a letter sent to management in the wake of how Activision Blizzard was publicly, and internally, responding to the allegations levied at them by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. 

The organizers of the walkout have sent a letter of intent to management, stating the reasons for the planned walkout, as well as demads being sent to Activision Blizzard management, which, as the organizers tell WoWHead, they "expect that leadership" will be willing to work with. The walkout itself is scheduled for July 28th from 10am - 2pm PT.

Here is the letter of intent in full, as sent to WoWHead:

Statement of Intent

Given last week's statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, and the many stories shared by current and former employees of Activision Blizzard since, we believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.As current Activision Blizzard employees, we are holding a walkout to call on the executive leadership team to work with us on the following demands, in order to improve conditions for employees at the company, especially women, and in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.

  1. An end to mandatory arbitration clauses in all employee contracts, current and future. Arbitration clauses protect abusers and limit the ability of victims to seek restitution.

  2. The adoption of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and promotion policies designed to improve representation among employees at all levels, agreed upon by employees in a company-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion organization. Current practices have led to women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups that are vulnerable to gender discrimination not being hired fairly for new roles when compared to men.

  3. Publication of data on relative compensation (including equity grants and profit sharing), promotion rates, and salary ranges for employees of all genders and ethnicities at the company. Current practices have led to aforementioned groups not being paid or promoted fairly.

  4. Empower a company-wide Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion task force to hire a third party to audit ABK's reporting structure, HR department, and executive staff. It is imperative to identify how current systems have failed to prevent employee harassment, and to propose new solutions to address these issues.

Walkout Details

The walkout will take place on Wednesday, July 28th. From 10 AM-2 PM, we’ll meet in front of the main gate of the Blizzard Campus. We will not enter the Blizzard Campus due to the current COVID health and security measures. Parking should be restricted to the open parking lot in the building 5 and 6 area (Laguna Canyon Road) as there is no gate to access it.Employees unable to meet in person may lend their voice to the walkout by stopping work and by sharing their participation on social media with the #ActiBlizzWalkout hashtag. If you belong to a different studio, please feel free to customize the hashtag: #(YourStudio)Walkout.

In addition, the organizers of the Activision Blizzard walkout have come up with ways the community can help, specifically by donating to charitable causes and use the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout on social media, as well as the blue heart emoji. Here are the charities below:

Black Girls CodeFutures without ViolenceGirls Who CodeRAINNWomen In AnimationWomen in Games International

Additionally, it seems more employees have signed the letter sent to Activision Blizzard management, with associate game designer Alex Talbott stating that it's now over 2,500 signatures and urging former and current employees to get in touch if they too want to join.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore

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