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Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Harrasment, Discrimination and More

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The state of California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

As initially reported by Bloomberg Law, the lawsuit comes after a 2-year investigation and claims, among other things, that the company fosters a "frat boy" culture where female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation, with cube crawls in which male employees "drink copious amounts of alcohol as they crawl their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees". It also claims Activision Blizzard's leadership has not addressed any of the listed issues nor prevented them in the workplace.

The WoW team was also talked about specifically: "Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would hit on them, make derogatory comments about rape, and otherwise engage in demeaning behavior, the agency alleges." Former WoW Senior Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi and Blizzard President J. Allen Brack are mentioned in the suit as well, and Afrasiabi's inappropriate behavior was allegedly well known and not handled well by Brack. Afrasiabi did quietly leave the company in 2020, however. Many Blizzard employees have come out about their experiences at the company, and you can read many of them on the WoW reddit here.

The lawsuit asks for an injunction to force Activision Blizzard to comply with workplace protections, deliver unpaid wages, pay adjustments, back pay, lost wages and benefits for female employees.

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard sent a response to IGN, claiming the suit includes "distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past" and that "The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams." There's more to the response which you can read at the end of the article here.

Here's a link to the full lawsuit, which you should definitely take a look at.

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