Chris Cuomo Sexually Harassed Me. I Hope He’ll Use His Power to Make Change.

This is an opportunity for Chris Cuomo and CNN to show what accountability can look like in the #MeToo era.

#metoo-movement, #ailes-roger-e, #cnn, #cuomo-andrew-m, #cuomo-christopher, #news-and-news-media, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

San Jose State to Pay $1.6 Million to 13 Students in Sexual Harassment Case

Investigations by the university and the Justice Department identified 23 student-athletes who had been inappropriately touched by an athletic trainer, officials said.

#california, #california-state-university, #colleges-and-universities, #san-jose-state-university, #sexual-harassment, #title-ix-gender-discrimination-legislation

SEC probing Activision Blizzard in wake of harassment, discrimination lawsuits

Photoshopped image from a video game shows a person in an Activision Blizzsard hoodie confronted barrels filled, presumably, with gasoline.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

In video game parlance, longtime gaming publisher Activision Blizzard has jumped to “extreme” difficulty as of late, thanks to a wave of highly publicized lawsuits. On Monday, the company behind World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Call of Duty faced arguably its biggest test yet, this time from the federal government.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Activision Blizzard over how the video game publisher dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination—and whether related information was properly disclosed to shareholders by executives.

The federal regulator has subpoenaed the company as well several senior executives, including CEO Bobby Kotick, according to The Wall Street Journal. It has also requested a variety of documents, including Kotick’s communications with other executives regarding the matter, minutes from board meetings held since 2019, the personnel files of six former employees, and separation agreements written this year. Former employees also reportedly have been subpoenaed.

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#activision-blizzard, #gaming-culture, #lawsuit, #policy, #sec, #sexual-harassment, #shareholders, #workplace-discrimination

Prominent Chinese #MeToo Figure Vows to Appeal After Losing Case

Zhou Xiaoxuan, a former television intern, became a leading voice in the movement after accusing a star presenter of assault.

#metoo-movement, #china, #china-central-television, #communist-party-of-china, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #womens-rights, #zhou-xiaoxuan

Investigation Confirms Reports of Abuse in Mali Basketball

But investigators said they could not confirm The Times’s reporting that the sport’s top global official, Hamane Niang, knew about the abuse.

#africa, #basketball, #human-rights-watch, #international-basketball-federation, #niang-hamane, #sexual-harassment

Tarana Burke Talks About the Surprising Origins of #MeToo

Tarana Burke discusses her new memoir, “Unbound,” and how she turned away from one movement to found another.

#metoo-movement, #books-and-literature, #burke-tarana, #central-park-jogger-case-1989, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #content-type-personal-profile, #selma-ala, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #unbound-my-story-of-liberation-and-the-birth-of-the-me-too-movement-book

Will Deshaun Watson Play Football This Season?

Twenty-two women have filed civil lawsuits in Texas accusing the quarterback of a pattern of coercive and lewd behavior.

#buzbee-tony-g, #football, #friel-lisa-m, #hardin-rusty, #houston-texans, #massage, #national-football-league, #police-department-houston-tex, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #watson-deshaun-1995, #women-and-girls

Veterans Struggle With Issues That Are Often Invisible to Others

Those who served in the wars that began after Sept. 11, 2001, are struggling with health problems, trauma and feelings of displacement and alienation.

#afghanistan-war-2001, #iraq-war-2003-11, #mental-health-and-disorders, #post-traumatic-stress-disorder, #september-11-2001, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #veterans

Alibaba Manager Not Charged in China’s Latest #MeToo Moment

Prosecutors declined to charge the man, who a co-worker said had assaulted her, an allegation that highlighted sexism in the Chinese tech scene.

#metoo-movement, #alibaba-group-holding-ltd, #china, #computers-and-the-internet, #discrimination, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #women-and-girls, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Supermodels Speak Out Against Sexual Harassment

As former models prepare to offer testimony against Gérald Marie, their former agency boss, big names like Carla Bruni, Paulina Porizkova and Karen Elson are offering their support.

#metoo-movement, #christensen-helena, #elite-model-management, #elson-karen, #jovovich-milla, #marie-gerald, #model-alliance-the, #models-professional, #otis-carre, #paris-france, #porizkova-paulina, #sarkozy-carla, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #women-and-girls, #your-feed-fashion, #ziff-sara

Alphonso David Fired as Human Rights Campaign President Over Cuomo Ties

Mr. David, who previously worked as a lawyer for Andrew Cuomo, was identified in a report as having advised the former governor on how to handle sex harassment allegations.

#metoo-movement, #cuomo-andrew-m, #david-alphonso-b-1970, #human-rights-campaign, #sexual-harassment

I Was Sexually Harassed at the Pentagon. Here’s What Happened Next.

When I arrived at the office, the reality that awaited me was the one I’d never imagined: the best-case scenario.

#defense-department, #discrimination, #ethics-and-official-misconduct, #sexual-harassment, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #women-and-girls, #workplace-environment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Threats and Fear Cause Afghan Women’s Protections to Vanish Overnight

As the Taliban advanced, safe houses for women closed, and the staff sheltered girls at home as relatives released from prison threatened to kill them.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #domestic-violence, #group-homes-and-supportive-housing, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #shariah-islamic-law, #taliban, #women-and-girls, #women-for-afghan-women, #womens-rights, #womens-shelters-and-safe-houses

The Real Problem with Sex Between Professors and Students

We need to get beyond the habit of viewing all kinds of exploitative, creepy or troubling sex solely through the lens of consent. 

#metoo-movement, #colgate-university, #colleges-and-universities, #dating-and-relationships, #louisiana-state-university, #sexual-harassment, #title-ix-gender-discrimination-legislation, #women-and-girls

After Proudly Celebrating Women, Alibaba Faces Reckoning Over Harassment

A rape accusation at the Chinese e-commerce giant has shed light on a work culture that some former employees say is humiliating and toxic.

#alibaba-group-holding-ltd, #china, #discrimination, #ma-jack, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #women-and-girls, #womens-rights, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Time’s Up C.E.O. Resigns Amid Crisis Over Cuomo Ties

The departure is the latest fallout from revelations that group leaders advised the former New York governor on handling harassment allegations.

#metoo-movement, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #cuomo-andrew-m, #sexual-harassment, #tchen-tina, #times-up, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

How Can Colleges Handle Sexual Misconduct Cases More Fairly?

In “Sexual Justice,” Alexandra Brodsky, a civil rights lawyer, homes in on the processes by which such cases are typically adjudicated — and how to improve them.

#brodsky-alexandra, #school-discipline-students, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #sexual-justice-supporting-victims-ensuring-due-process-and-resisting-the-conservative-backlash-book

Cuomo, in Defiant Farewell Address, Says the Truth Is ‘Always Revealed’

The prerecorded speech comes nearly two weeks after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced his resignation; he will be succeeded at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #content-type-personal-profile, #cuomo-andrew-m, #democratic-party, #hochul-kathleen-c, #new-york-state, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Turmoil Was Brewing at Time’s Up Long Before Cuomo

The prominent anti-harassment charity, criticized for its relationship with the former New York governor, is facing an identity crisis over its ties to those in power.

#metoo-movement, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #burke-tarana, #conflicts-of-interest, #cuomo-andrew-m, #derosa-melissa, #hollywood-calif, #kaplan-roberta-a, #new-york-state, #reade-tara, #rhimes-shonda, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #simmons-russell, #tchen-tina, #times-up, #washington-dc, #winfrey-oprah, #witherspoon-reese

Cuomo Continues to Challenge His Accusers as Moving Trucks Are Loaded

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo set to leave office in a few days, his lawyer again challenged the credibility of the inquiry that led to his departure.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #bennett-charlotte-1995, #cuomo-andrew-m, #glavin-rita-marie, #governors-us, #limmiatis-virginia, #new-york-state, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Chuck Close’s Uneasy, Inevitable Legacy

The artist was a great one-hit wonder, twice, before a scandal set in. Will his paintings regain visibility? Our critic argues it is healthier for us to see them.

#art, #close-chuck, #disabilities, #fischl-eric, #frontotemporal-dementia, #lichtenstein-roy, #murray-elizabeth, #museums, #pace-gallery, #paralysis, #sexual-harassment

R. Kelly Trial Will Involve Marriage to Aaliyah

The R&B star is on trial after years of delays. He is accused of commanding a criminal enterprise that recruited women and underage girls to have sex with him.

#metoo-movement, #black-people, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #kelly-r, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #women-and-girls

Cuomo Will No Longer Face Impeachment, Assembly Leader Says

Carl Heastie, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, said the body would end its investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo when his resignation takes effect later this month.

#cuomo-andrew-m, #democratic-party, #governors-us, #heastie-carl-e, #impeachment, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #state-legislatures, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Andrew Cuomo and How a Political Dynasty Dies

Andrew Cuomo inherited his father’s fierce competitive spirit but not his humanity or introspection. 

#cuomo-andrew-m, #cuomo-mario-m, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Facing Outrage Over Bikini Rule, Handball League Signals ‘Likely’ Change

In the weeks since Norway’s women’s beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms, other countries have increased pressure for a change in federation rules.

#american-samoa, #athletics-and-sports, #denmark, #discrimination, #fines-penalties, #handball, #hassan-moustafa, #international-handball-federation, #norway, #sexual-harassment, #team-handball, #uniforms, #women-and-girls

Cuomo’s Final Days Before He Announced His Resignation

Behind the scenes, the governor vacillated between defiant and defeated, eventually accepting that his formidable political army had fallen away.

#cuomo-andrew-m, #cuomo-christopher, #derosa-melissa, #heastie-carl-e, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Cuomo’s Resignation Speech Makes Play to Preserve His Legacy

In his resignation speech, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed regrets but also emphasized his achievements during three terms leading New York State.

#content-type-personal-profile, #cuomo-andrew-m, #governors-us, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #speeches-and-statements, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

The Resignation of Andrew Cuomo

After a ballooning sexual harassment scandal, the three-term governor of New York was driven from office more swiftly than expected.

#cuomo-andrew-m, #democratic-party, #governors-us, #new-york-state, #sexual-harassment, #united-states-politics-and-government

Cuomo Resigns Amid Scandals, Ending Decade-Long Run in Disgrace

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was unable to withstand a barrage of sexual harassment allegations that led most of his allies to abandon him.

#metoo-movement, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #cuomo-andrew-m, #governors-us, #hochul-kathleen-c, #james-letitia, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment

‘Executive Assistant #1’ Says Cuomo ‘Broke the Law’

“What he did to me was a crime,” said Brittany Commisso, identified in a report from the state attorney general as “Executive Assistant #1.”

#commisso-brittany, #cuomo-andrew-m, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Harassment will happen at my startup and yours: Here’s how we prepare

Sexual harassment is, unfortunately, always in the news. Of late, it’s revelations at gaming giants and governments. Yet despite how prevalent harassment is, companies often adopt an “it can’t happen here” stance — until it does, and then there are knee-jerk reactions and crisis communications.

A better approach: recognizing how pervasive it is and planning with that in mind.

When I first started Ethena, I explained the concept of innovative harassment prevention training to my father. Like any good parent, he thought my entrepreneurial genius was actually a terrible idea and advised me to stay put at my job. But when he finally accepted that I was going to start this company, he said, “Make sure you don’t have harassment at your company. That would be bad.”

He’s not wrong. My team provides a modern compliance training platform. Since our first product was harassment prevention training, it would be pretty bad if we were talking the talk without walking the walk.

Train your team members to better understand inclusion and recognize what harassment looks like so the bar is set higher than “let’s just not get sued.”

If I could prevent workplace harassment on optimism alone, I absolutely would. But I’ve seen the data on the prevalence of workplace harassment.

A 2018 Pew survey, for example, found that 59% of women and 27% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment. And the rise of remote work hasn’t changed things. In fact, there are some indications that harassment is on the rise thanks to “keyboard courage.”

Knowing that, I’ve come to terms with the fact that these are issues we’ll likely face, so I want us to be prepared. Today’s workplace demands that leaders acknowledge gray areas and engage with uncomfortable topics; it’s how companies grow in new and healthy directions. Here’s how we think about that growth.

Plan for it

As a Floridian, I grew up assuming hurricanes would hit my house. We always had some plywood and canned food because when you know something is going to happen, you plan for it.

Unlike prepared Floridians, startups tend to adopt an ostrich approach when it comes to harassment. Instead of stocking the pantry, so to speak, companies wait until they’re already in a storm.

Early on, a startup is a small group of (usually homogeneous) friends, and it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that bad things could happen. It’s much easier to hope that building a team of stellar humans is enough.

But, unfortunately, bad things do happen, because sometimes harassment is not as cut-and-dry as we are led to believe. Rather, harassment often grows from the complexities of human interactions– intent, perception, privilege and context, to name a few. It can start with a few small jokes, a colleague who gets drunkenly inappropriate every Friday, or a team that never seems to hire anyone outside of their social circle.

Then, things can escalate, and people start to realize that what they’re actually experiencing is a hostile work environment. Unfortunately, at that point, it’s really hard to right the ship because the company is suddenly 600 people and change gets harder as companies grow.

Knowing that problems are more likely as companies scale, it’s vital that teams prepare by learning how to identify warning signs early. At a bare minimum, train your team members to recognize what workplace harassment looks like and better understand inclusion so that the bar is set higher than “let’s just not get sued.”

Out of everyone at the company, managers really need to get the memo. As a company scales, senior leaders have a limited span of control, so frontline managers become the most crucial employees in either promoting or preventing inclusive workplaces. It just so happens that training is legally required in states like California and New York.

Make feedback, not just “tell HR,” an option

The traditional way that harassment is talked about is very binary. Either a workplace is perfectly inclusive or it’s a toxic cesspool. Obviously, it’s important to take these issues seriously, but the problem with treating every act as either fine or serious, capital-H harassment is that it gives employees a choice between bad and worse.

Let’s say Elena is on an engineering pod with Jonah, and Jonah occasionally does small things that cause her to feel less than included.

For example, they’re hiring for a new front-end engineer and Jonah always refers to this future hire as “he.” In the traditional, frowny-faced lawyer version of harassment, Elena has two options”

  1. Do nothing: Bad because Jonah is going to keep doing it.
  2. Tell HR: Also bad. Elena doesn’t want to get Jonah fired. She just wants him to be more inclusive.

However, if training teaches Elena — and, ideally, everyone else on her team — to say something in the moment, Elena now has a tool she can actually use.

Next time Jonah says, “OK so when he joins…” Elena can jump in with, “Unless you’re psychic, which seems unlikely given how poorly you did in Fantasy Football, please use ‘they’ to refer to our new hire, since we don’t know their gender.”

Did Elena need to insert the burn? Probably not, but humor can diffuse a tense situation so sure, why not? Regardless, once Elena says something, it’s on Jonah to accept her feedback and make a change; and, if team values are clear, hopefully Jonah’s colleagues will hold Jonah accountable, too.

Accountability is everything

This last lesson is only applicable after something at the company happens. Let’s say Jonah’s comments escalate, even after Elena gives feedback. Jonah consistently excludes Elena and other women from key meetings, talks over them, and when confronted, says, “Look, we all know they’re only here for diversity stats.”

If Jonah’s manager at this fictitious, problematic company does nothing, that’s the ballgame. There’s literally no amount of workshops, training, blog posts or all-hands meetings that can convince Elena that the company cares. Actions speak loudest.

The best possible version of dealing with an issue involves transparency so that people can learn from what happened and see that the company does care. Obviously, it’s hard when issues involve private information and protecting those who reported the issues, but to the extent possible, it’s crucial to have accountability.

Of course, my dad is right: Harassment at my company would be bad. But we’re preparing for it because scaling a company means rapidly increasing the number of human interactions.

Thankfully, building an inclusive company looks a lot like building a good company – preparation, feedback and accountability are managerial best practices that should be put in place early.

#column, #dei, #diversity, #harassment, #labor, #lawyer, #sexual-harassment, #startups, #tc

Cuomo’s Top Aide, Melissa DeRosa, Resigns as He Fights to Survive

The governor’s strategist helped lead efforts to retaliate against one of the women who accused him of sexual harassment, the attorney general’s report found.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuomo-andrew-m, #derosa-melissa, #new-york-state, #nursing-homes, #sexual-harassment

R. Kelly Criminal Trial: A Timeline of the Allegations

The R&B singer has faced a trail of accusations since 1996. On Monday, he goes on trial in Brooklyn.

#metoo-movement, #aaliyah, #brooklyn-nyc, #chicago-sun-times, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #child-pornography, #kelly-r, #racketeering-and-racketeers, #rhythm-and-blues-music, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #surviving-r-kelly-tv-program

Andrew Cuomo and the Quislings of Albany

Cuomo, time’s up.

#metoo-movement, #cuomo-andrew-m, #cuomo-christopher, #david-alphonso-b-1970, #derosa-melissa, #new-york-state, #sexual-harassment, #times-up, #womens-rights

What Makes Cuomo So Grabby?

The non-grabby Cuomo doesn’t look good, either.

#content-type-personal-profile, #cuomo-andrew-m, #governors-us, #impeachment, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #state-legislatures, #women-and-girls, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

The Abandonment of Andrew Cuomo: Unions, Party Leaders and Deep Allies

The governor has suffered consequential defections from core constituencies, including labor, white suburban lawmakers and Black political leaders.

#assn-for-a-better-new-york, #building-and-construction-trade-council-of-greater-new-york, #cuomo-andrew-m, #ethics-and-official-misconduct, #new-york-state, #organized-labor, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment

Cuomo Sexual Harassment Part of Broader Toxic Workplace, Report Says

The new account of a state trooper bolsters a meticulous new report on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s misdeeds — and how his inner circle allowed such conduct to fester.

#bennett-charlotte-1995, #cuomo-andrew-m, #liss-ana-1985, #new-york-state, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Passenger Arrives Taped to His Seat After Assault of 3 Flight Attendants

Maxwell Berry, 22, of Norwalk, Ohio, punched a Frontier Airlines flight attendant and groped two others on a flight from Philadelphia to Miami, the authorities said.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #assaults, #assn-of-flight-attendants, #federal-aviation-administration, #fines-penalties, #flight-attendants, #frontier-airlines-inc, #miami-dade-county-fla, #nelson-sara, #norwalk-ohio, #philadelphia-pa, #sexual-harassment, #travel-warnings

With #MeToo Case Against Kris Wu, China Hits Out at Celebrities

The detention of Kris Wu, a popular Canadian singer, has been hailed as a rare victory for the movement. But Beijing, wary of social activism, has cast it as a warning to celebrities.

#metoo-movement, #canada, #celebrities, #china, #communist-party-of-china, #exo-music-group, #fans-persons, #louis-vuitton, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #women-and-girls, #wu-kris-1990, #zhou-xiaoxuan

Mitchell Button Accused of Sexual Assault in Lawsuit

Mitchell Taylor Button was accused of abuse, and his wife, Dusty Button, a dancer with a large Instagram following, was accused of participating in some of it but not named as a defendant.

#button-dusty, #button-mitchell-taylor, #dancing, #florida, #hollywood-fla, #humphries-sage, #menichino-gina, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #suits-and-litigation-civil

Cuomo’s Counsel, a Key Figure in Sexual Harassment Inquiry, Will Resign

Judith Mogul, a special counsel to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was a central figure in at least one of the harassment complaints against the governor.

#metoo-movement, #cuomo-andrew-m, #ethics-and-official-misconduct, #governors-us, #mogul-judith, #new-york-state, #sexual-harassment, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Olympic Fencer, Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Kept Apart From Team

Alen Hadzic of New Jersey is an alternate on the U.S. fencing team but has not been allowed to stay in the Olympic Village.

#columbia-university, #fencing-sport, #hadzic-alen, #olympic-games-2020, #sexual-harassment, #us-center-for-safesport

Activision Blizzard workers will stage a walkout after ‘abhorrent’ response to harassment suit

One of the world’s biggest video game companies is reeling after a state discrimination and sexual harassment suit kicked off a firestorm of controversy within the company. California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard last week, alleging that the company fostered a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.”

Following a combative response to the lawsuit from corporate leadership, a group of employees at Blizzard will stage a walkout, which is planned for Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT. Most employees at Blizzard continue to work remotely, but walkout participants will gather tomorrow at the gates to the company’s Irvine campus.

“Given last week’s statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, and the many stories shared by current and former employees of Activision Blizzard since, we believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the organizers wrote.

In the new statement, they called for supporters to donate to organizations including Black Girls Code, the anti-sexual-violence organization RAINN and Girls Who Code.

Activision Blizzard publishes some of the biggest titles in gaming, including the Call of Duty franchise, World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Overwatch. Blizzard came under Activision’s wing through a 2008 merger and the subsidiary operates out of its own Irvine, California headquarters.

In the suit, the state agency describes a “frat house” atmosphere in which women are not only not afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts, but are routinely and openly harassed, sometimes by their superiors.

The company pushed back last week in a fiery statement, blaming “unaccountable state bureaucrats that are driving many of the state’s best businesses out of California” for pursuing the lawsuit. Activision Blizzard Executive Vice President Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to George W. Bush, echoed that aggressive messaging in an internal memo, slamming the lawsuit as a “distorted and untrue picture of our company.”

In an open letter published Monday, the walkout’s organizers condemned Blizzard’s response to the lawsuit’s allegations. “We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry,” they wrote. “ … These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first.”

More than 2,600 employees signed the letter, which demands an end to mandatory arbitration clauses that “protect abusers and limit the ability of victims to seek restitution,” improved representation and opportunities for women and nonbinary employees, salary transparency and a full audit of diversity, equity and inclusion at the company.

On Twitter, streamers, gamers, game devs and former employees expressed support for Wednesday’s walkout under the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout, with some calling for a blackout on Activision Blizzard games as a show of solidarity. Others called for streamers to use the walkout time slot to raise awareness about rampant sexual harassment and discrimination in gaming culture at large.

One Blizzard employee shared a photo of the company’s iconic statue depicting an axe-wielding orc, a central feature of its Irvine headquarters. Three plaques displaying corporate values that surround the statue had been covered with paper: “Lead responsibly,” “play nice, play fair,” and “every voice matters.”

#activision, #activision-blizzard, #blizzard-entertainment, #california, #gaming, #overwatch, #sexual-harassment, #tc, #video-gaming, #world-of-warcraft

Amar Ramasar, City Ballet Dancer, To Retire After Texting Scandal

Amar Ramasar, a principal dancer who was denounced by colleagues for sharing vulgar texts, will leave the company in May.

#metoo-movement, #dancing, #new-york-city-ballet, #ramasar-amar-1981, #sexual-harassment

Internal Activision Blizzard petition rebukes “abhorrent, insulting” leadership

Photoshopped image from a video game shows a person in an Activision Blizzsard hoodie confronted barrels filled, presumably, with gasoline.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

In the wake of a sexual harassment and pay-disparity lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard, an internal petition has begun circulating at the gaming company. Its text, as independently verified by multiple outlets, comes down against leadership’s public and private response to the suit’s allegations.

Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier and Kotaku’s Ethan Gach reprinted content from the same petition, and both reporters claim that the petition has racked up “over 1,000 signatures” from current and former Activision Blizzard staffers as of press time. The petition begins by describing a public company statement offered in the wake of July 20’s lawsuit, and a private, staffwide memo sent by Activision executive vice president Frances Townsend, as “abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for.”

“We will not be silenced”

Activision Blizzard’s statements from lawyers and executives last week alleged that the California State’s lawsuit’s allegations were “distorted, and in many cases false,” and the petition aims its words squarely at that characterization. The letter argues that such a corporate response “creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims” and “casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future.”

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#activision-blizzard, #gaming-culture, #pay-disparity, #sexual-harassment

Batali & Bastianich to Pay $600,000 Settlement in Sexual Harassment Case

An investigation by the New York State attorney general describes a culture of widespread sexual harassment and retaliation at the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group.

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Activision Blizzard sued by state agency over alleged widespread discrimination

Sign on facade of Activision's Los Angeles offices.

Enlarge / Sign on facade of Activision’s Los Angeles offices. (credit: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a California State agency filed a lawsuit against the game publisher Activision Blizzard over allegations of rampant sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. The nature of this harassment is so widespread, the lawsuit claims, that women who have worked for the game maker “almost universally confirmed that working for Defendants was akin to working in a frat house”—which, according to this lawsuit, means a workplace full of inebriated men who sexually harassed their female colleagues sans punishment.

The 29-page lawsuit claims that across the entire corporation, pay disparity led to women receiving “less total compensation than their male counterparts while performing substantially similar work.” It includes multiple alleged examples of Activision Blizzard slowing promotions for women in favor of male counterparts, even when those women had longer tenures and a superior review record at the company, and added that women of color were “particularly targets of Defendants’ discriminatory practices.” And it described an office environment where inebriated men sexually harassed their female colleagues without being punished.

A direct report to Blizzard’s president

The full lawsuit includes a lengthy list of violations of both sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, including many that single out unnamed Activision Blizzard staffers, and they range from explicit to repugnant. The lawsuit describes one particularly extreme example of alleged harassment—and says the sufferer eventually took her own life.

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Activision Blizzard Is Sued by California Over Workplace Culture

The lawsuit says women at the gaming company were paid less and discriminated against, and it described a culture of sexual harassment.

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Britain Introduces Measures to Curb Street Harassment and Violence Against Women

The proposals come months after Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, was raped and murdered. She had gone missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in South London.

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‘Nobody Believed Me’: How Rape Cases Get Dropped

While the Me Too movement led to greater awareness about the prevalence of rape, prosecutors in New York City still struggle to prove sexual assault accusations.

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