In another update in the ongoing dumpster fire that is the Activision Blizzard sexual harassment lawsuit, more former Blizzard leads are weighing in. This time, it’s the turn of Chris Metzen and Greg Street.
If you somehow missed it, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard amongst sexual harassment allegations, in addition to allegations the company enabled an abusive culture where women – and specifically women of color – were subjected to sexual harassment, unequal pay, and more.
Additionally, two opposing statements were issued from current Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, and Activision’s Fran Townsend. Brack attempted to apologize to his employees. Townsend, meanwhile, doubled down on Activision’s PR.
If you recall, Mike Morhaime, former President and CEO of Blizzard, issued his apology last week in which he stated, “I am extremely sorry that I failed you.” Over the weekend, Chris Metzen issued his own Twitter Apology – a form of publicly expressing remorse which has become far too common these past several years.
In his statement, Metzen notes,
“We failed, and I'm sorry. To all of you at Blizzard – those of you I know and those of you whom I've never met – I offer you my very deepest apologies for the part I played in a culture that fostered harassment, inequality, and indifference.”
“There is no excuse. We failed too many people when they needed us because we have the privilege of not noticing, not engaging, not creating necessary space for the colleagues who needed us as leaders. I wish my apology could make any kind of difference. It can’t.”
Metzen continues, expressing remorse he wasn’t present enough, “to ask, to listen, to hear these stories when it mattered.”
Former World of Warcraft lead designer, Greg Street, issued his own Twitter Apology in a multi-Tweet thread. He notes the video currently making the rounds of a female fan requesting alternative armor options for female characters in front a crowd and panel of Blizzard developers. Audible boos are heard from the crowd as the panel effectively dismisses her question with mockery.
Greg notes of the video that he was part of that panel and says, “Look, it was a shitty answer at the time and it certainly hasn’t aged well.” The wording here is of note as Greg seemingly meanders in his at times unfocused thread,
“You can’t really see the people asking the questions well from the stage, and I feel terrible now seeing the look on her face. I have more experience now answering questions live, but no doubt that won’t be my last shitty answer. I apologize for those as well as for this one.”
“I have been doing it for 23 years plus or minus. I still make mistakes. It happens. Learn from it. Apologize and move on. I hope the lesson that anyone is taking from that Blizzcon video is *not* how risky it is to talk to the community…"