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Activision Blizzard faces new demands from an alleged victim of sexual harassment at the company
A high profile lawyer known for representing victims of sexual harassment has levied new demands at Activision Blizzard.
December 8, 2021
3 Min Read
An Activision Blizzard employee known as "Christine" and her lawyer are making new demands of Activision Blizzard as the company continues to grapple with allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and toxicity that apparently go all the way up to CEO Bobby Kotick.
These demands were announced at a press conference at Blizzard's Irvine campus earlier this morning, after Christine gave a broad overview of the negative experiences she's had at Activision Blizzard. Those experiences allegedly not only included groping and sexual comments made by superiors, but also pushback and demotions from HR following her complaints.
Christine's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, head of The Bloom Firm, slammed the company in follow-up statements, saying it had done little to prioritize victims of sexual harassment in its follow-up actions. She specifically criticized the company for not following through on promises made in its consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Comission.
Said consent decree dictated that Activision Blizzard would establish a website for victims of sexual harassment to file claims to receive part of an $18 million settlement with the EEOC within 30 days of the decree's approval, and that a claims administrator would be hired within 30 days of the website's posting.
It's unclear yet if such a website has been created (sources close to Activision Blizzard say they have not been made aware of such a website), and Activision Blizzard has not announced the hiring of a claims administrator. It should be noted that courts do need to approve consent decrees, and it's unclear if the California District Court has made that approval as of yet.
Bloom slammed the company for violating the terms of the consent agreement, and issued 3 demands of Activision Blizzard.
1. A streamlined and sympathetic process to provide sexual harassment and abuse victims money from an expanded settlement fund of $100 million.
2. A public apology to Christine and other victims.
3. A review by a neutral third party (not a law firm hired by the company) to investigate "career damage" that employees like Christine have endured. This mirrors worker advocacy group A Better ABK's call for a third-party investigation of Activision Blizzard.
Bloom's high-profile reputation comes from representing sexual harassment victims of comedian Bill Cosby and disgraced talk show host Bill O'Reilly. She briefly advised Harvey Weinstein when he was accused of sexual assault in 2017, but stepped away as the allegations against him continued to mount.
Bloom also recently represented victims of high-profile sexual abuse Jeffrey Epstein, and cited her experience with the compensation process in that case as a template that Activision Blizzard should be following in its support for victims of abuse.
She also invited other victims of abuse or discrimination at Activision Blizzard to call her law firm and discuss representation.
When asked for comment about Bloom's conference (and the claims that deadlines with the EEOC have been blown), an Activision Blizzard spokesperson provided the following statement:
"We appreciate the courage of our current and former employees in coming forward with reports of misconduct, and we are truly sorry for any victims of people whose conduct did not live up to our values. As we have continued to reaffirm in our recent communications, such conduct is not consistent with our standards, our expectations, and what the vast majority of our employees meet on a daily basis. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct, harassment or retaliation of any kind. We will not tolerate any behavior that is not aligned to our values and will hold employees accountable who fail to live up to them."
"The company is committed to creating an environment we can all be proud of. We are in the process of implementing significant changes and improvements to the scope, structure and efficiency of our compliance and human resources teams, reporting systems, and transparency into our investigation process. The safety and support of our employees, especially those who have suffered, remains our top priority."
About the Author(s)
Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com
Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.
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