Activision Says There’s No "Systemic Harassment" At Activision

Activision has conducted an internal investigation and concluded that there is no evidence of "widespread harassment or systemic harassment" despite two lawsuits, employee walkouts, and allegations from staff.

"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, discrimination, or retaliation," Activision said (as reported by PCGamesN)

However, in November 2021, a report from The Wall Street Journal accused CEO Bobby Kotick of knowing how toxic Activision Blizzard's culture was. This report was made up of evidence from emails, internal memos, and interviews with former staff. The report further alleged that Kotick not only knew but protected offenders. Activision's own internal investigation meanwhile claims 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."

According to the same Wall Street Journal report, Kotick allegedly stepped in to defend Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting who was accused of harassment in 2017. Activision's own HR reportedly recommended he be fired, but Kotick allegedly intervened.

Activision's internal investigation was conducted by Gilbert Casellas, former chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "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 any of its business units during that timeframe," Activision stated. "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."

Regardless of Activision's own internal report and findings, California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing is still pushing forward with its lawsuit, while the Securities Exchange Commission investigation launched in September 2021 is also ongoing.

In the midst of these investigations and lawsuits, it was also announced that Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard. In the time since that announcement, Raven QA began work toward unionising and Microsoft has recently closed a labour neutrality agreement with the union.

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