A new report on Activision Blizzard’s lawsuits came to light last week when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an investigation into some of the publisher’s top figures, including CEO Bobby Kotick. In response to the press release from Kotick’s Workplace Initiatives (also last week), the US Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) became the youngest federal agency to sue Activision Blizzard. According to a Kotaku report, the EEOC lawsuit was recently settled. However, more worrying monetary details have surfaced.
Activision Blizzard appeared yesterday as opinion confirms that an agreement has been reached with EEOC which includes “the development of tools and training programs to support efforts to improve work experiences”. What does that mean? Well, going forward, Activision will provide Blizzard with a $ 18 million fund to “compensate and redeem” eligible beneficiaries. Any additional money will be given to charities that defend and support women in the gaming industry, as well as initiatives that promote diversity in the workplace. In addition to the EEOC, an external equal opportunities advisor is to report to the publisher’s board of directors on the implementation of these programs. Click the link above for more information.
The press release goes on to say that the agreement still requires judicial approval. Nevertheless, Kotick interfered and said:
“There is no place in our company for discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment of any kind and I am grateful to the employees who courageously shared their experiences. I am sorry that someone experienced inappropriate behavior, and I remain steadfast in my commitment to making Activision Blizzard one of the most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces in the world. We will continue to be vigilant in our commitment to eliminating harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We thank EEOC for their constructive engagement as we work to meet our commitments to eradicate inappropriate behavior in the workplace. “
Despite that statement, Bobby Kotick’s tenure as an executive at Activision Blizzard has become synonymous with a long history of harassment and discrimination – from sexual misconduct that has resulted in loss of lives to horrific gender pay gaps. Over the summer, Eurogamer reported that Bobby Kotick’s $ 155 million salary package was approved by the company’s shareholders, even after Kotick agreed to a 50% bonus cut and pay cut. The recently paid $ 18 million funding for support programs and initiatives doesn’t even account for a quarter of the CEO’s alleged earnings for 2021.
For more information on the allegations against Activision Blizzard and the resulting legal proceedings, see Liana Ruppert’s extensive coverage here.
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