Activision Blizzard employees stage walk out

Activision Blizzard employees walk out over company's handling of misconduct and harassment complaints.

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Hundreds of employees at the videogame company Activision Blizzard signed out of work early on Tuesday, according to Polygon, following the publication of a Wall Street Journal report on CEO Bobby Kotick’s handling of several sexual harassment incidents.

Activision Blizzard released a statement on Tuesday, calling the article “misleading.” The company has been involved in an ongoing harassment, misconduct and discrimination lawsuit and investigation.

Company-wide, hundreds of Activision Blizzard employees and contract workers signed out of work at midday Tuesday. More than 150 people showed up to protest at the Blizzard campus in Irvine, California, with dozens more outside Activision Blizzard’s quality assurance office in Minnesota. In Irvine, a diverse group of workers and supporters gathered by the office’s front gate on Blizzard Way.

The Wall Street Journal released a report on Tuesday detailing numerous allegations against company staff, including the CEO.

In a video message to employees on Tuesday that was transcribed and posted on the company’s website, Kotick claimed that the Journal story “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.” He added that “anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me.”

Last year, California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment sued Activision Blizzard—developer of World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, with a market capitalization of around $50 billion—for being a “breeding ground for harassment.”

“Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would hit on them, make derogatory comments about rape, and otherwise engage in demeaning behavior,” the lawsuit said.

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