This morning, a current Blizzard employee stood with her lawyer, high-profile attorney Lisa Bloom, to share a statement about the alleged sexual harassment she has experienced on the job. Bloom held the press conference on behalf of her client, writing in a press release posted on Twitter yesterday that it is the first time her client has spoken publicly.
“I was told that the harassing men were just trying to be friends with me. I was told they did nothing wrong by law.”
A new statement — The Blizzard employee Christine did not reveal her last name, but explained that she has been working at the Activision-owned gaming company for four years and continues to work there. She said that she’d long dreamed of working at Blizzard, but quickly realized her visions of the company stood in stark contrast to the reality she then faced.
“Since I’ve been employed at Blizzard, I’ve been subjected to rude comments about my body, unwanted sexual advances, inappropriately touched, subjected to alcohol-infused team events and cube crawls, invited to have casual sex with my supervisors and surrounded by a frat boy culture that’s detrimental to women. When I complained to my supervisors, I was told they were just joking and I should get over it,” Christine said.
According to Christine and her attorney, “jokes about rape” were a part of Blizzard’s work environment. Christine explained that the harassment she experienced damaged her mental health and stopped her from attending workplace events in an effort to avoid further sexual remarks and what she describes as “groping.”
Even though Christine said she was told not to go to HR, she continued to report incidents to Blizzard. In response to her reports, Christine alleges that Blizzard minimized her harassment and even penalized her.
“I was told that the harassing men were just trying to be friends with me. I was told they did nothing wrong by law. After I complained of the sexual harassment, I was demoted. I was then further harassed and retaliated against.”
Money issues — Christine also claims that Blizzard has not compensated her fairly during her employment with the company. “I’ve been denied my full profit sharing, denied shares in the company, and have had minimal raises in the four years I’ve been employed with Blizzard,” she said during the press conference.
Blizzard’s future — Going forward, Christine wants to see accountability and a safer work environment. Her attorney announced the “demands” they are seeking from Blizzard, emphasizing that Blizzard should prioritize its sexual harassment victims going forward.
Attorney Bloom argued for the creation of a “streamlined, fast, fair process” to resolve their issues, with an expanded fund of $100 million. “The 18 million dollar number is woefully inadequate,” Bloom argued. She also wants victims to be able to make their claims “to sympathetic claims administrators.”
One of many — Unfortunately, Christine’s story is not unlike that of many other victims who have come forward. The legal documents previously filed against Blizzard allege that other women have also been denied raises, groped at “cube crawls” and discouraged from filing complaints or otherwise speaking with Blizzard’s HR department.
Blizzard’s response — When asked about this morning’s press conference and the statement made by Christine, a Blizzard PR representative told Input that the company “appreciates 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.”
Blizzard said via email that the company is “implementing significant changes and improvements” to its HR department and transparency around its investigation process and that the company “will not tolerate any behavior that is not aligned to our values and will hold employees accountable who fail to live up to them.”