Activision Blizzard employees are threatening a walkout to protest the game maker’s response tofiled earlier this month. The planned action is part of an employee call for equality, new HR practices and a third-party audit of the company, which publishes the popular Call of Duty and World of Warcraft titles.
Over 2,000 past and present Activision Blizzard employees published on Monday an open letter calling for “official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault.” The letter from employees focuses on their distrust of the company’s leaders and support for colleagues who say they are victims of harassment and assault. It was originally reviewed by Bloomberg.
“We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the [California Department of Fair Employment and Housing] lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for,” a copy of the letter posted by Bloomberg. Townsend, a high-ranking executive at the game maker and a former Homeland Security Advisor, angered employees with an email that reportedly dismissed the state’s allegations.”To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the letter continued.
Bloomberg reported that employees are planning a walkout for Wednesday, July 28, outside of the Blizzard campus in Irvine, California at 10 a.m. PST.
On July 20, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing accused Activision Blizzard of workplace discrimination and alleged women aren’t compensated fairly and subject to harassment. The agency called the company a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination” in which women are subject to regular sexual advances by men, who largely go unpunished.
Activision Blizzard didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the walkout. The company has previously blasted the state’s lawsuit, saying it included “distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions.”