Activision Faces Another Lawsuit Involving “Rampant Sexism” Within the Company.

Activision Faces Another Lawsuit Involving “Rampant Sexism” Within the Company.

On Wednesday, March 23, the game company best known for their Call of Duty franchise, Activision, was hit with another lawsuit regarding an employee’s experience of discrimination and sexual harassment at her workplace.

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by attorney Lisa Blooms on behalf of a victim of “rampant sexism” in her work environment who was referred to as “Jane Doe.”

Doe has previously hosted a press conference in front of Blizzard’s Ivern, California office during December to inform others of what she calls a “alcohol-soaked culture of harassment” and received retaliation against her for speaking out on her experience of what she endured.

According to the complaint, Doe began working at Activision Blizzard as a senior administrative assistant to former Blizzard staff, Mark Skorupa and other employees of the IT department in 2017. The lawsuit alleges that Skorupa showed sexual behaviors and made sexual comments towards her and when she filed a complaint to her managers. They said they insisted  “it was just her leaderships being nice and trying to be friends with her.” 

The lawsuit against Activision claims that after making the complaint, she was asked to keep any of her concerns and evidence to herself because it could really damage the company, and following the complaint, she began facing a more hostile work environment.

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She also faced pressure from her Skorupa to drink tequila shots on an “initiative lunch” she was invited to, then she was said to reveal “an embarrassing secret” to everyone during her first day of work. According to them she had to do it as part of her initiation process.

Doe alleges she was often pressured to drink alcohol on the job and to participate in “cube crawls” where women were subjected to sexual comments and groping done by male co-workers. There was also a game called “Jackbox” that she was pressured to play late after work, being told that the game would help her fit in with the group. The game involved questions that were mostly sexual in nature and required every individual to suggest a “creative answer” as the solution.

In an attempt to escape, the lawsuit alleges she tried to dress “conservatively” to avoid sexist comments from her peers and distanced herself from them by applying for positions in various departments. All applications were only accepted until after she filed a complaint with Blizzard’s then-president Allen J. Brack about the harassment she faced, and was offered a lower position, which she accepted.

After all the humiliation, mental distress and other harms, the lawsuit seeks help from various court orders to require Activision to implement a rotating human resource department to avoid conflict of interests with management. They also seek to fire CEO Bobby Kotick, who had been aware of the misconduct and did nothing about it. Kotick is expected to step down after the deal with Microsoft is concluded.

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