Activision Blizzard Employee Walkout Scheduled Following Lawsuit
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing opened a lawsuit last week against Activision Blizzard following terrifying reports of harassment and mistreatment of women and marginalized groups from staff and leadership. After a few days of employees sharing horror stories and over 1,000 of the company’s past and present employees signing a formal denouncement, larger calls for change are underway. A full-fledged Activision Blizzard employee walkout is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, to hopefully lead to swifter changes at the gaming giant’s offices. Here’s the latest of what we know.
The Tides Change Following the Announcement of an Activision Blizzard Employee Walkout
Image Credit: Activision Blizzard
TW: For the sake of our readers, I’m deciding to leave out details of the stories that took place at Activision Blizzard. Those stories exist online in the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit report and on social media. While we’ll discuss the events around these stories, we will not be speaking about anything in detail to avoid further trauma to victims of this sort of abhorrent harassment and assault.
Overall, the Activision Blizzard Walkout for Equality is an event meant to truly impact the company. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, a virtual walkout and in-person staged event at the Blizard Campus will occur. According to Kotaku, employees will stop working during this time and take to social media. The hashtag #ActiBlizzWalout will guide the virtual signaling of a complete denouncement of the company’s inner workings. If you missed out on the full story initially, then here’s a quick rundown.
Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Explained
Bloomberg first reported a July 20 lawsuit opened by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit claims the company allowed “a “frat boy” workplace culture that it alleges has led to years of harassment and abuse targeting the women in its workforce.” The lawsuit told of some horrific stories experienced by women, and particularly women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and trans women. In response, informal protests followed online and within Activision Blizzard’s staff. Overall, the Activision Blizzard employee walkout is the first major formal protest against the company’s culture. The publisher claims to be looking into employee concerns and hiring HR representatives to adequately address the matter. The studio is responsible for the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises.
For now, I just want to share my solidarity with the employees impacted at Activision Blizzard. In short, these experiences aren’t unique for women in the gaming industry or any corner of society. I plan on writing more on this in the future. For now, I wish the best to all participating in the walkout.
Featured Image Credit: Activision
Taylor is the Gaming Editor of Comic Years and a lifelong fan of video games. He holds two degrees in Political Communication and wrote a Master's Thesis on resistance movements, race, and the exploitation of college athletes. His wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards keep him sane.