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$100mn fund demanded for victims of Activision Blizzard harassment

Christine, a four-year veteran at Activision Blizzard, has come out publicly with her story of sexual abuse at the video game company. Her celebrity lawyer now demands a $100 million victim fund be established.
During a press conference held just outside Blizzard Entertainment’s headquarters in Irvine, California, Christine, who withheld her last name for privacy reasons, gave a long and tearful address about her experience at the company. She said working at Blizzard had been her dream, but it was shattered when she started experiencing inappropriate touching, comments about her body and requests for casual sex from supervisors. After reporting the incidents, she claims that she was told to let it go, and that the people she reported “did nothing wrong by the law.”

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        <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2021.12/thumbnail/61af489f85f54048c4675542.png" alt="'Call of Duty: Warzone' Developers: Infinity Ward, Raven Software ©  Activision" />
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“When I complained to my supervisors, I was told ‘They were just joking’ and that I should get over it,” Christine said. “I was told not to go to HR. I was told that the harassing men were ‘just trying to be friends with me.’ I was told, ‘They did nothing wrong by law.’”

Nevertheless, she did report the abuse to HR, but was later retaliated against. She claims she was demoted, denied profit sharing benefits, and received minimal raises throughout her four years at the company.

Christine, who is one of the first victims to come out publicly against Activision Blizzard, has since retained the services of attorney Lisa Bloom, who is known for representing victims in high-profile sexual assault cases, including Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby and Jeffrey Epstein accusers. She has, however, also been an adviser to convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein.

Blizzard Entertainment employee Christine, center, stands with her husband, Eric, right, and her attorney, Lisa Bloom, as she reads a statement about sexual harassment at the gaming company in Irvine, CA, on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. © Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG

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During the press conference, which she live-streamed on her Instagram, Bloom called for Activision Blizzard to issue a formal apology to victims such as Christine, as well as employ a neutral third party to assess the career damages caused to victims. She also lamented that the $18 million victim fund established as settlement in a previous lawsuit was ‘woefully inadequate’ and demanded that the gaming company expand the fund to $100 million. She finished her statement by encouraging other victims to step forward and take a stand against Activision Blizzard.

Company representatives were also present at the public press conference, and responded by saying they were ‘truly sorry’ for employees who became victims during their time at Blizzard.

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        <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2021.11/thumbnail/619e8bbf2030276d2f3ff0c8.jpg" alt="Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP" />
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“As we have continued to reaffirm in our recent communications, such conduct is not consistent with our standards, our expectations, and what the vast majority of our employees meet on a daily basis. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct, harassment or retaliation of any kind. We will not tolerate any behavior that is not aligned to our values and will hold employees accountable who fail to live up to them,” they said.

The press conference is but the latest development in the long list of controversies surrounding Activision Blizzard since it faced a lawsuit back in July for ‘a frat-boy culture’ within the company that led to sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Since then, it’s been revealed that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly knew about the harassment allegations beforehand and did nothing to stop them. Instead, he reportedly encouraged the behavior and allegedly took part himself.

Numerous employees at the company have been staging walkouts over the allegations as well as other issues since news of the first lawsuit broke. The latest walkout is still ongoing at Raven Software studio, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, after management cut 30% of its quality assurance staff after promising raises and full-time positions.

     https://ift.tt/3DuQJqr 09, 2021 at 03:57PM

from RT – Daily news

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