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Former staff states the “trans community and gay community” at Activision Blizzard did not feel safe

The stories coming out of Activision Blizzard from past and current staff have been nothing short of disturbing. From Activision Blizzard staff running around playing ‘gay chicken’ with one another, installing cameras in toilets to spy, to sexual harassment so heinous that a female employee committed suicide on a company trip.

The latest news about the company – as reported by Bloomberg – is that Jesse Meschuk, Blizzard’s SVP of Global HR has left the company sometime this week. Considering that Axios revealed a damning report last night, it isn’t all too surprising to see why. According to Axios sources, who wished to remain anonymous, Activision Blizzard and HR not only failed to protect their people, but “actively shielded abusers from punitive action.” Some were even warned about filing a report, and was told “this isn’t a fight you want to fight.”

It isn’t just women who were discriminated against, however. According to an anonymous, former customer service specialist at Activision Blizzard speaking to DigiDay, the studio was downright cruel to those who were gay, trans, or non-white.

“The trans community and gay community that was there at Blizzard, they did not feel safe, ever.” She tells DigiDay. “One of my best friends was trans, and once she came out, that was it — her career just stopped. She had interviews upon interviews for other positions, because she is brilliant, and then it just completely stopped. She left before me, but she started way before I did.”

It wasn’t just queerphobia, however. The employee makes it clear that there was racism too. “I definitely heard people being called [racist slurs for Latin Americans], I heard that terminology come out of the North American floor. The Latin American team in general faced a lot of prejudice from the other representatives on the floor.” She says. “I heard the “n-word” several times — we didn’t have very many Black people that worked with us, by the way. There was an interview where at the very end, the woman saw a photo of a Black family in the room, and she said “I didn’t picture many Black people working at Blizzard.” And one of the managers interviewing her was like, “she’s perfect.”

Activision Blizzard has voiced that they believe in inclusivity in the past, often participating in Pride Month, and even has an official page dedicated to diversity and inclusion. Considering the news from staff and reports that keep coming out about the studio, however, it feels as though the higher-ups will need to re-think on not just winning the trust back of their fans, but their marginalized staff, too.

You can read the full article over on DigiDay.

If you are a former or current employee at Activision Blizzard and would like to talk more about your own experience within the company, please reach out to us at hello@gaymingmag.com.

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One thought on “Former staff states the “trans community and gay community” at Activision Blizzard did not feel safe

  • Having worked with men in the industry in a freelance capacity, this comes as no surprise. The scale of it, and the unapologetic company culture made out of it by Activision is shocking though.

    My sister works in a small tech company and her experience is really not that far from the picture painted in the article. To my knowledge nobody ever committed suicide but women being demeaned, disrespected, actively blocked from senior positions while less qualified male junior employees rose up the ranks, and other serious sexual harassment events (like female employees’ sexual attractiveness being rated by two associates openly in front of female employees, men invading female bathrooms to snap pictures etc) are pretty much routine.
    And of course, in such an environment, the one employee who came out as trans quickly left the company after having meetings about “public bathroom etiquette” with HR.

    I wouldn’t say they were a company culture, even though all but one associates were male and the one female associate was driven to quit (when in opposition to the male consensus, she was once asked if she “had her time of the month” and was regularly not told of planned meetings) so it was definitely pervasive and the leadership’s misogyny was protected.

    I really hope news like these create change in this company, and in others, out of human decency, or if anything, at least out of fear of the stock market repercussions if things go public.

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