Last week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard — the company behind World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. Speaking of the contents of the suit, Luke Winkie wrote for Vulture “It’s all really, really bad, made worse by this gross, defensive statement released by the corporation.” Thanks in part to the defensive statement from Activision Blizzard, workers at the company staged a walkout, demanding better working conditions and protections for all employees. “We believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” organizers said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
The lawsuit describes decades of toxic work environments, where female developers were harassed, passed over for promotion, and underpaid. In response, Activision released a statement declaring that they “value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone,” at the same time decrying what they called “distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past.” The organizers of Wednesday’s walkout also drafted a letter condemning what they called an “abhorrent” response to the allegations contained within the suit.
Tuesday night, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick emailed employees and called the company’s initial response “quite frankly, tone deaf.”
As reported by Axios, the walkout has four demands: an end to forced arbitration for all employees, worker participation in oversight and promotion, greater pay transparency, and worker selection of a third party to investigate the company.