So many problems, even with the walkouts.
Wednesday morning, hundreds of Blizzard employees rallied outside the company’s main campus in Irvine, California to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment and discrimination charges. They’re asking the gaming studio to agree to four demands, including ending mandatory arbitration in all employment contracts. “Until these demands are met, we won’t stop fighting,” a walkout representative tells The Verge.
The move comes after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Activision Blizzard on July 20th, alleging the company had a pervasive “frat boy” culture where female employees were constantly harassed, discriminated against, and underpaid.
The lawsuit alleged a male employee nicknamed his BlizzCon 2013 hotel room the “Cosby Suite.” A Kotaku investigation later found that multiple other employees were aware of the name. “We’re really glad to see these stories are being told and appreciate the journalists who are telling these stories,” a walkout representative tells The Verge. “We stand by the victims and are appalled by what we read. This only makes us more committed to our task.”
At the protest, employees stood shoulder to shoulder across two city blocks, holding signs that read “send the frat boys back to school” and “women in the video game industry deserve a safe place to work.” The energy was hopeful, almost light, despite the 80-degree heat. There were no protest chants, just chatter among colleagues. Around the corner, organizers had erected a tent for protestors, complete with water and snacks.