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Activision Blizzard Employees Publish Open Letter Criticizing Activision's Official Statement on the Lawsuit
2021/07/26 at 2:56 PM
Over 3200 Activision Blizzard employees have signed an open letter to leadership criticizing the official statement on the lawsuit, calling it "abhorrent and insulting," and demanding one that reflects the seriousness of the allegations. This letter has been sent to various news outlets like
This open letter comes after many Blizzard employees
released statements on Twitter
showing their discontent with the
which described the lawsuit as "meritless and irresponsible," as well as offering sympathy to the victims.
Blizzard leadership has taken a more-compassionate tone compared to the official Activision Blizzard statement, with messages from
current Blizzard President J. Allen Brack
Blizzard President Mike Morhaime
, and former
Blizzard Vice President Chris Metzen
acknowledging the seriousness of the allegations and how they've failed employees. However, many current and former Blizzard employees have expressed disdain, referring to the entire situation as a failure of leadership in which complaints against senior employees were ignored by the very same people now expressing platitudes of remorse.
The number of signatures is rising since we first reported on the story, with Kotaku noting that
over 1000 employees have now signed the letter
former employees confirming
that Blizzard alumni are welcome to sign the letter as well to express their support.
As of the afternoon of July 27th, over
3200 past and current employees
have signed the open letter.
Kotaku also published a statement from an anonymous Activision Blizzard employee who helped draft the letter.
“Following the announcement from Activision Blizzard, and in light of the internal memo circulated by Frances Townsend, a group of over 800 employees from across all of Activision-Blizzard-King and its subsidiaries came together to take action,” a representative of the group told Kotaku. “Over the weekend we drafted an open letter to our leadership that is now gathering signatures from across our organizations, and have been working on next steps.”
Below you can read the full letter sent to Activision Blizzard:
To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard,
We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.
We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry. Categorizing the claims that have been made as “distorted, and in many cases false” creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims. It also casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first. Immediate corrections are needed from the highest level of our organization.
Our company executives have claimed that actions will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action — and the troubling official responses that followed — we no longer trust that our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. To claim this is a “truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit,” while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences regarding harassment and abuse, is simply unacceptable.
We call for official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault. We call on Frances Townsend to stand by her word to step down as Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network as a result of the damaging nature of her statement. We call on the executive leadership team to work with us on new and meaningful efforts that ensure employees — as well as our community — have a safe place to speak out and come forward.
We stand with all our friends, teammates, and colleagues, as well as the members of our dedicated community, who have experienced mistreatment or harassment of any kind. We will not be silenced, we will not stand aside, and we will not give up until the company we love is a workplace we can all feel proud to be a part of again. We will be the change.
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