Activision Blizzard execs respond internally to California lawsuit, calling allegations ‘troubling’
Activision Blizzard executives have sent out internal company wide emails in response to the lawsuit from the California state government over the work culture at Blizzard Entertainment.
J. Allen Brack, the President of Blizzard Entertainment, sent an email to all Blizzard staff Thursday evening stating that the allegations mentioned in the lawsuit were ‘troubling’ and invoked many ’emotions.’
The internal memo from Brack, leaked by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, calls the allegations “extremely troubling.”
“I know many of you would like to receive more clarity. While I can’t comment on the specifics of the case as it’s an open investigation, what I can say is that the behavior detailed in the allegations is completely unavailable.”
The allegations in the lawsuit included describing Blizzard’s workplace culture similar to that of a ‘frat culture’ where male employees would drink alcohol and “crawl” around the office to harass female employees.
The lawsuit also alleged that female employees faced discrimination in terms of pay, benefits, and promotions.
The full internal email is below, as shared by Schreier:
In his email, Brack also says he and the leadership team will be “meeting with many” employees to understand how the company “can move forward.”
Another email was sent internally by Activision Blizzard’s Chief Compliance Officer, Fran Townsend. Ms. Townsend joined Activision Blizzard in March 2021.
She is former Bush administration official in Homeland Security. Her email was worded quite differently, which sparked some backlash from both community and from employees of the company.
In her email, she states that the lawsuit filed “presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories – some from more than a decade ago.”
Schreier reports that many employees are “fuming” over her email. Some spoke out publicly, including many Warcraft devs saying they wouldn’t be working on Friday in response to this email.
Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend, who was the Homeland Security Advisor to George W. Bush from 2004-2007 and joined Activision in March, sent out a very different kind of email that has some Blizzard employees fuming. pic.twitter.com/BxGeMTuRYF— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021
Activision Blizzard has not issued a new statement publicly about the situation since their initial one that was shared alongside the surfacing of the lawsuit.
We’ll continue to closely follow this story and provide updates on what happens.