Official World of Warcraft Twitter account announced it would take action immediately to remove “unappropriate references for [its] world.” Although it did not specify what the references were, they could be related to Alex Afrasiabi (its senior creative director), Kotaku noted. California authorities filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard accusing it of encouraging a “fratboy” culture which has become a breeding ground for harassment and discrimination towards women.
The lawsuit claims that Afrasiabi was known for inappropriately touching and hitting female employees, in plain sight of male colleagues who might try to stop him. His suite, named the “Crosby Suite” after Bill Crosby, was apparently so well-known within the company. The lawsuit misspelled Bill Cosby’s name. Executives allegedly had knowledge of his behaviour but did not take any effective remedial steps. J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard, spoke to Afiasiabi a few time, according to the lawsuit. However, he gave Afiasiabi a slap on his wrist for these incidents.
Activision Blizzard refuted the allegations in the suit and stated that the initial response “includes distortional, in some cases false, descriptions” of Blizzard’s past. Fran Townsend, Executive Vice President, stated to employees that the lawsuit presented a “distorted and untrue” picture of Blizzard, with inaccurate, outdated, and out-of-context stories.
Over 800 Activision Blizzard employees criticized the company for its response to their accusations. In an open letter, they wrote: “Categorizing the claims made as ‘distorted’ and often false creates a company climate that doubts victims. On Wednesday, at least 50 workers in California’s company main office are planning to walk out to protest company actions and demand improved working conditions for women.
WoW announced that it had removed inappropriate content in an effort to restore trust. Although it acknowledged that it had to earn trust through its actions in the coming weeks and months, it did not say how it plans to respond to the allegations in the suit.
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Publited at Wed 28 July 2021, 05:08.21 +0000