After news surrounding California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing filing a lawsuitagainst video game publisher Activision Blizzard emerged on July 22nd, many industry leaders, outlets, and employees condemned the accusations of harassment that have been taking place within the workplace. The publisher has yet to issue a response to the accusations while many of its channels have fallen silent.
Activision Blizzard operates a range of esports tournaments across a number of titles, including Call of Duty which entered its second year of the Call of Duty League (CDL) which features the world's best teams competing for millions in prize money. Despite the radio silence from the publisher, a number of CDL franchises have released statements condemning the behaviour that has taken place.
CDL Franchises Speak Out
Out of the twelve franchises that are competing in the CDL, two of them have spoken out against the horrible claims of workplace harassment at Activision Blizzard. One of the franchises is the New York Subliners, which released a statement on July 27th.
"We condemn all forms of workplace harassment and discrimination, and are distraught by extensive reports of it at a company we are partners with," the Subliners write. "To the many people within Activision Blizzard who want to see major changes enacted, we strongly support you and urge Activision Blizzard leadership to take meaningful action with transparency," the franchise added.
The second franchise to call out the publisher is the Minnesota ROKKR. The parent company of the franchise, Version1, also released a statement condemning the actions of Activision Blizzard.
"To build an inclusive gaming industry, all organisations must commit to eradicating discrimination, harassment, and retailiation in the workplace. The reports of systematic harassment and exploitation of women working for Activision Blizzard are infuriating and disappointing," the company states. "On behalf of our community, we urge our partners at Activision Blizzard to provide the transparency necessary to make this a moment of progress for our industry. Workplace harassment needs to end."
Bad News For Activision Blizzard
Considering that the franchises competing in the CDL have invested tens of millions of dollars in order to secure a spot and are speaking out against their main partners, it goes to show how serious the problems at Activision Blizzard are. As more continue to condemn the actions of the publisher, it's likely that more franchises in esports operated by Activision Blizzard will speak out against the disgusting behaviour.