back to article Activision Blizzard accused by California watchdog of fostering 'frat boy' culture, fatally toxic atmosphere

California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing on Thursday sued Activision Blizzard and its subsidiaries, alleging the company fostered a "frat boy" culture that led to lower pay for female employees, sex and race discrimination, and sexual harassment. According to the lawsuit, as an example of the effects of this …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    For the enlightenment of a right-pondian

    What's a frat-boy culture? Is it like sour-dough, or yoghurt?

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: For the enlightenment of a right-pondian

      Like the Bullingdon Club perhaps?

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: For the enlightenment of a right-pondian

      In the seminal 1980s hit comedy Revenge of the Nerds, the supposed heroes of the piece join a fraternity and use tactics such as doxing and rape to gain the advantage over the more conventionally attractive and successful college students who have tormented them throughout the movie. One expects the culture is something like that.

    3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: For the enlightenment of a right-pondian

      Addressing your question more directly, it's usually at least one of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis.

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    To be forgiven, the first step is to recognize you made a mistake. That's a step Activision isn't ready to make.

    When I look at Activision's senior management today, I see 9 men an 3 women, with two in the usual role of HR and PR. It looks like a Potemkin Village for gender diversity.

    The male supervisor was found by police to have a butt plug and lubricant on his business trip

    How nice. Generally supervisors fuck you dry.

  3. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Let me get this right

    Let me get this right, a company whose products involves trolls (the real ones not the Internet variety), ganging up with superior weapons on a majority group that is less able to defend itself as well as orchestrating the killing of as many things as possible fosters an attitude that involves dehumanising a large chunk of the population for their own amusement?

    And we wonder why women don't want to work in IT? Why would they?

    Medicine is also stressful but at least women who work there are paid well and given the respect they deserve (unless there are massive abuses there that I haven't yet heard about).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toxic Racist Misogynistic Patriarchal White Males

    "Toxic Racist Misogynistic Patriarchal White Males"..

    Why does this smell more like a witch hunt than anything else ?

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Toxic Racist Misogynistic Patriarchal White Males

      The fact they asked Brianna Wu for comment tells you exactly where this article was going.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why does this smell more like a witch hunt than anything else ?

      It doesn't smell anything like a witch hunt to me.

      Is your work history is littered with incidents where you've bullied and abused people? I suppose that could make it smell like a witch hunt....

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: smelling like a witch hunt?

      A toxic misogynistic atmosphere at Activision? A witch hunt??

      NO! Couldn't possibly be true! Activision is such a GREEEEAT place to work, after all.... >:-/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: smelling like a witch hunt?

        Don't you think it's a bit unfair to qualify all of the Activision staff in the same manner... There might actually be some non white, non toxic people working there too...

        Don't forget to look in the mirror before you make your next statement....

        1. Mike Friedman

          Re: smelling like a witch hunt?

          When men see behavior such as that alleged in the complaint (and women's public airing of their experiences) and they do nothing, they are complicit.

          One of the allegations involved the head of the WoW franchise having to be physically pulled off female subordinates (more than one!!!!!) that he was hitting on at a conference.

          "During a company event (an annual convention called Blizz Con) Afrasiabi would hit on female employees, telling them he wanted to marry them, attempting to kiss them, and putting his arms around them. This was in plain view of other male employees, including supervisors, who had to intervene and pull him off female employees."

          This isn't "frat boy behavior," this is sexual assault IN FRONT OF A BUNCH OF PEOPLE. And nothing happened to the guy, but he eventually left the company.

          https://kotaku.com/blizzard-harasser-from-lawsuit-is-still-all-over-world-1847345457

          If you see a woman being harassed by her boss or you hear men making disparaging comments about female co-workers and you do nothing then you're part of the problem. Why is this difficult for men to understand?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: smelling like a witch hunt?

            When men see behavior such as that alleged in the complaint.

            When "ANYONE" Not just white toxic Males.. FTFY..

            And the most important word of all-in the phrase is "Alleged" ... Until you know the actual facts, the whole facts and nothing but the facts you are not in a position to cast your spell over an entire company and its staff.

            That's why I mentioned the Witchhunt.

            Let the courts decide. You are just a forum member of El Reg not the Judge and Jury.

            And silence is not indicative of anything... It's a strawman argument used by children.

  5. Hairy Spod

    bully targets

    I presume the targets of most of the bullys are their QA team, esp the ones working with the Warzone teams

  6. Plest Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Stop the pandering!

    "How do you change the culture? You promote women and other underrepresented groups."

    Right there is the problem! Women and "other" do not want to be pandered to! "Oh gee you only got the job as we're low on gender representation, no we didn't really care if you could do the job, just long as you have breasts!". Hmm, that'll really make women feel their hard work has paid off.

    If we're male bashing, well it's a minority of men who think think diversity is pointless, most men will tell you they couldn't give a monkey's what gender or race someone us so long as they can make the cut on a what the job requires. Let's start by weeding out the unpleasant people, men or women, who are toxic and start finding competant people who can do the job professionally and also by default work towards diversity without having to be forced to learn it. That starts in society, in the schools, get that crap off the social networks, off the TV channles ( legacy and internet feeds ). From there we have people who care about people, who care about making sure the best people, right for the job are in there irrespective of gender, race or any other "attributes".

    Start from that we will automatically "breed" in a more aware and caring society and workforce who will not even consider gender or race to be important, it becomes just an attribute of a person, from there we get more people into jobs they want to do without fear or persecution.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Stop the pandering!

      "Start from that we will automatically "breed" in a more aware and caring society and workforce who will not even consider gender or race to be important, it becomes just an attribute of a person, from there we get more people into jobs they want to do without fear or persecution."

      I would go as far as stating that the overwhelming majority of people are already like that..

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Stop the pandering!

        The overwhelming majority of people I've met in my career are decent caring folk.

        The bad eggs stand, generally get found out and then they move somewhere else to start again. Unless the problem is from the top and the culture seeps down to protect these slugs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stop the pandering!

          In a company the size of BA a few bad eggs can still be quite a few people, and if it agrees with existing worldviews, they get extrapolated into the whole company's culture. I don't know how a couple of point sources can possibly be reported on with integrity as representative of the whole.

        2. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: Stop the pandering!

          Well, that is often the problem. If you're an asshole and you're at the bottom of the corporate ladder then you will likely get fired, unless you're the star developer in which case they might overlook it. It gets worse though when the management includes assholes who then hire more assholes. Or the worst case is someplace like Uber where it really did seem to start at the top

  7. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    I do not know a single woman in the game industry that feels HR is on her side.

    I don't know of anyone in any industry that feels HR is on their side. Perhaps the C-suiters. For everyone else, HR protects the company and its executives from its workforce, not to help the workforce.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: I do not know a single woman in the game industry that feels HR is on her side.

      Human Resources. What would you expect?

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