The protest, set to take place at the company’s main campus in Irvine, CA, on Wednesday comes weeks after a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard claimed the company created a workplace that fostered sexual harassment and discrimination. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing said in its lawsuit, that Activision allowed a “‘frat boy’ workplace culture.” The accusations claimed executives sexually harassed women and male employees openly joked about rape and drank alcohol while engaging in “inappropriate behavior” toward women.
According to Bloomberg, a group of employees at Blizzard Entertainment is organizing the protest to”improve conditions for employees at the company,” specifically those in marginalized groups.
On Tuesday, more than 1,000 current and former Activision Blizzard employees penned a letter criticizing the company’s response to the lawsuit.
“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,” the letter read. “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.”
It continues: “We call for official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault.”
Per Bloomberg, “collective action is rare in the video-game industry, which has no unions in North America.”
Former and current Activision Blizzard employees also called out the gaming company on social media. See their tweets, and employee demands below.
As a former Blizzard software engineer, I endured and witnessed sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination in a toxic work environment. HR was not safe for victims.
That was 5 years ago. It's still Blizzard culture.
— Cher Scarlett 💙 #ActiBlizzWalkout (@cherthedev) July 27, 2021
Tomorrow I will be standing with my friends and colleagues in order to make our voices heard and demand real change. Together we are far stronger than alone. #ActiBlizzWalkout pic.twitter.com/TrsU7ZwDit
— Zorbrix (@Zorbrix) July 27, 2021
As a former employee, I lost count at how many incidents of harassment I witnessed/experienced with no reliable HR to help. If change doesn’t happen naturally, we’ll force it. Please lend your support to those advocating for change on the frontlines. #ActiBlizzWalkout pic.twitter.com/ioKgOVzvfT
— 🌱 Sara Dadafshar 💙 (@npcSara) July 27, 2021
Employees at ActivisionBlizzard are on the forefront fighting for equity in treatment and protection from abusers in the industry.
These are their very reasonable demands for the #ActiBlizzWalkout tomorrow.
I'm very proud of everyone showing up. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/AkuV6SobXz
— Grant Parker 💙 (@GrantPDesign) July 27, 2021