Blizzard Entertainment co-founder and current president of Dreamhaven Mike Morhaime has broken his silence regarding the allegations of sexual discrimination levied by a California state agency at the company he founded in a lawsuit filed this week. The statement, released late in the evening Pacific Time on Friday night has Morhaime apologizing for the culture that existed at the company, stating that he is "extremely sorry" to have "failed" those affected.
In case you missed it earlier this week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing have sued Activision Blizzard, alleging sexual discrimination and allegations that the company allowed a culture to flourish that saw women, especially women of color, subjected to sexual harassment, unequal pay, and more. Activision Blizzard, on their part, have fought back against the claims in a strongly worded statement on Wednesday.
This week also saw two seemingly opposing stances taken by Activision Blizzard leadership, with a more contrite memo to employees by J. Allen Brack, current president of Blizzard Entertainment, which saw Brack apologize to employees. Meanwhile, in a more strongly worded statement, Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend doubled down on the company's stance, calling the lawsuit brought forth by the DFEH "meritless and irresponsible." It's worth noting that while Brack's statement was a bit more conciliatory, both his and Townsend's statement stop short of outright admiting any wrongdoing as is alleged in the lawsuit.
My ThoughtsRead: https://t.co/JkOwtj31Sf— Mike Morhaime (@mikemorhaime) July 24, 2021
In his statement posted to Twitter late Friday night, former Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Morhaime. who left Blizzard in 2019, gave his thoughts, apologizing for the hurt caused by the culture allowed to flourish at Activision Blizzard, even during his time there.
"I was at Blizzard for 28 years. During that time, I tried very hard to create an environment that was safe and welcoming for people of all genders and backgrounds. I knew that it was not perfect, but clearly we were far from that goal. The fact that so many women were mistreated and were not supported means we let them down. In addition, we did not succeed in making it feel safe for people to tell their truth. It is no consolation that other companies have faced similar challenges. I wanted us to be different, better."Harassment and discrimination exist. They are prevalent in our industry. It is the responsibility of leadership to keep all employees feeling safe, supported, and treated equitably, regardless of gender and background. It is the responsibility of leadership to stamp out toxicity and harassment in any form, across all levels of the company. To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you."
Morhaime continues in the statement, apologizing again, stating to the victims that he is sorry he "let you down." He then goes on to pledge his support and to use his influence in his position within the industry to "drive positive change and to combat misogyny, discrimination, and harassment."
You can read the full statement by Morhaime below. Other companies have come out to address the allegations, with many games press outlets also blacklisting coverage of Activision Blizzard games (though will still be covering this story and stories associated with it) until meaningful change occurs.