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Over 1,000 Activision Blizzard Employees Sign Letter Condemning Company's Response To Allegations [Update: Now Over 2,000]

Hundreds of current and former employees from across Activision Blizzard have signed a letter to the company’s management calling its response to a recent lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination at some of its offices “abhorrent and insulting.”

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“Following the announcement from Activision Blizzard, and in light of the internal memo circulated by Frances Townsend, a group of over 800 employees from across all of Activision-Blizzard-King and its subsidiaries came together to take action,” a representative of the group told Kotaku. “Over the weekend we drafted an open letter to our leadership that is now gathering signatures from across our organizations, and have been working on next steps.”

That letter was sent to managers today, two sources confirmed, a full copy of which was shared with Kotaku and has been excerpted below:

On July 20, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a complaint against Activision Blizzard accusing the Call of Duty and Overwatch publisher of a “frat boy” workplace culture based on a two-year investigation. In response. “DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past,” Activision Blizzard said in a statement in response, calling it the work of “unaccountable State bureaucrats.”

In the days that followed, leaders within the company offered their own responses. Some called the allegations in the complaint “troubling,” others, like Activision Blizzard chief compliance officer Frances Townsend, called the lawsuit “meritless” in a strongly-worded rebuke sent to Activision staff. A number of current Blizzard developers than began speaking out online to distance themselves from the company’s official response and criticize how leaders were handling the situation.

Today, UppercutCrit reported that Activision chief operating officer Joshua Taub held a contentious all-hands meeting with 500 staff discussing the company’s handling of the ongoing fallout. In it, he apparently encouraged employees to let the handling of these issues remain internal, including when it came to a question about staff unionizing. “The best way for protection is reaching out to your supervisors, hotline and avenues,” Taub responded, according to UppercutCrit.

Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We appreciate the support of our fellow co-workers, past ABK employees, and our communities during this time,” a representative for the employee group that signed today’s letter, told Kotaku. “ Rest assured we intend to demand change, and hold our leaders and companies accountable to the values we signed onto when joining.”

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