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'Without Merit' Activision Blizzard Investigated Itself and Found No Widespread or Systemic Harassment

Christina Gonzalez Posted:
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Activision Blizzard has been the subject of a number of investigations after accusations of widespread harassment, gender discrimination, and pay disparities. After conducting its own internal investigation, along with an outside firm it hired, and amending its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the internal report  determined that there was, effectively, no widespread harassment and discrimination that was ignored or downplayed by senior management.

The new report (as shared by PCGamesN) states that,  “Contrary to many of the allegations, the Board and its external advisors have determined that there is no evidence to suggest that Activision Blizzard senior executives ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported”. Their report does not claim that there were no incidents that occurred, but seems to be painting them as unremarkable for such a large company.

They hired Gilbert Casellas, formerly of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a department with which Activision Blizzard agreed to settle after an investigation into reports of harassment and discrimination. Casellas was already separate from the EEOC, and his report comes to a simple conclusion: “based on the volume of reports, the amount of misconduct reflected is comparatively low for a company the size of Activision Blizzard”. The SEC filing also stated: “ The review of contemporaneous documentation and statements by relevant individuals shows that media criticism of the Board and Activision Blizzard senior executives as insensitive to workplace matters is without merit”.

Worker organization A Better ABK quickly responded and promised another statement to come.

Activision Blizzard also points to agreements in the EEOC settlement as well as other company policies adopted over the past year. This includes agreeing to audits, pledges to fund more diverse hiring and support, waiving arbitration for harassment accusations, and other efforts to improve its workplace culture and environment.

With the reports, investigations and lawsuits, in addition to reports of higher-ups all the way up to CEO Bobby Kotick overlooking or minimizing incidents, there are some calling the determinations in the new filing into question. Some criticism is for the use of an internal investigation, or that some of the allegations were about senior officials. 

You can read the full SEC amendment over at Activision.


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.

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