Video games: Activision Blizzard investigated after several harassment complaints

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The US financial markets regulator (SEC) recently launched an investigation into Activision Blizzard. The video game publisher is suspected of not having communicated sufficiently on the accusations of harassment and discrimination to which he is the subject.

The investigation concerns “the communication of the company related to its employees and to related subjects”, confirmed a spokesperson without giving details. The regulator demanded documents from the company as well as from several of its leaders, currently in office or who have left the group, according to information from the Wall Street Journal.

Retaliation against the victims

The video game giant, owner in particular of “Candy Crush” and “Call of Duty”, was already the subject of legal proceedings initiated for the management of its workforce. In late July, the California Employment and Housing Inequalities Agency (DEFH) took him to civil court for breach of labor laws.

DEFH criticized Activision Blizzard for promoting the development of a “sexist” culture. Women, especially African-American women, were on average paid less than men in similar positions, and were less frequently promoted. They were also subjected to “constant sexual harassment”. According to DEFH, managers and the human resources department were informed of these actions but did nothing, sometimes even taking reprisals against women who complained.

A rare occurrence for this industry where social movements are rare, several dozen employees gathered at the end of July in front of the company’s headquarters to protest against this situation. The group then undertook to study all complaints and to take possible measures against those of its executives and directors who could have participated in such acts. In early August, Activision Blizzard announced the departure of Allen Brack, head of the Blizzard Entertainment subsidiary, directly implicated.

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