Activision investigation claims “no widespread harassment” at Activision
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A new report by Activision Blizzard has claimed there is “no widespread harassment, or systemic harassment” at the company.
In response to multiple lawsuits against the company, Activision Blizzard conducted its own investigation and has published the findings.
“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,” reads the report.
“While there are some substantiated instances of gender harassment, those unfortunate circumstances do not support the conclusion that Activision senior leadership or the Board were aware of and tolerated gender harassment or that there was ever a systemic issue with harassment, discrimination or retaliation.”
In addition, Activision Blizzard employed former chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Gilbert Casellas to conduct a review.
“Based on his review, Mr. Casellas concluded that there was no widespread harassment, pattern or practice of harassment, or systemic harassment at Activision Blizzard or at any of its business units [between 1st September 2016 and 31st December 2021]. Mr Casellas further concluded that, based on the volume of reports, the amount of misconduct reflected is comparatively low for a company the size of Activision Blizzard,” reads the report.
It goes on to list a number of reforms across the company, including forming a centralised Ethics & Compliance team, tripling investment in anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training resources, launching a new company-wide zero-tolerance harassment policy, and implementing new policies, among others.
“We recognise none of these improvements can change the past for those who experienced inappropriate workplace conduct,” reads the report. “Over the years the company has appropriately disciplined and exited employees to ensure that our practices match our policies. There simply is no room at Activision Blizzard for anyone who does not practice our corporate value of providing a safe, inclusive and welcoming workplace that serves as a model for our industry.”
The report also notes how Activision Blizzard “has been subject to an unrelenting barrage of media criticism that attempts to paint the entire company (and many innocent employees) with the stain of a very small portion of our employee population who engaged in bad behaviour and were disciplined for it”.
For this it blames the “highly inflammatory, made-for-press allegations of the DFEH”.
The DFEH were behind the initial lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard due to its alleged “frat boy culture” – a lawsuit that’s still ongoing.
A second lawsuit filed by the EEOC was resolved back in March with an $18m settlement.