Activision Blizzard is being sued over “frat boy” culture

Female employees are being harrassed, according to a lawsuit filed in California.

Activision Blizzard has a “frat boy” culture in which female employees are harrassed and subjected to unequal pay and discrimination, according to a lawsuit filed by the Californian Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

As reported by Bloomberg, the Californian government agency has conducted a two-year investigation into the games publisher and has found it discriminated against female employees in conditions of employment, compensation, assignment, promotion and termination. Furthermore, Activision Blizzard continually failed to prevent said discrimination, according to the government body.

The lawsuit states that female employees of Activision Blizzard — approximately 20% of its workforce — were subjected to “pervasive frat boy workplace culture” which included workplace equivalents of pub crawls in which male counterparts “drink copious amounts of alcohol as they crawl their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees.”

Bloomberg cites numerous examples of behaviour found within the complaint, which include sexual harrassment, jokes about rape, discriminatory actions towards pregnant employees and more.

Activision Blizzard refuted the allegations in a statement.

“We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind,” an Activison Blizzard spokesperson said. “We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue.

“The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to inform us what issues they perceived.

“The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today.”

We’ll keep you up to date as more information becomes available.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.