[RD] Blizzard gets sued by DFEH (State of California worker's equity agency)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Angst, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,767
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    I don't even know where to begin on this.

    I guess I'll begin with what we first heard about. More stuff has surfaced since it broke out a week ago, it's a complete mess, and some really dark stuff. Completely abhorrent business practices and equal pay abuse beside the (to some, less relevant) sexual abuse. (I think it's very relevant, and intrinsical to how the underpay of female workers happen.)

    Trigger warning on some things: Sexism, abuse, suicide (!)

    So I guess I'll just start with the first thing I read, highlighting some important stuff (all of it is important) and then fill in more details in post replies as I get the energy for it. This is a week old, and a lot of stuff has come out since.

    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily...zard-sued-by-california-over-frat-boy-culture

    I suggest you read the whole article.

    What's important to note here is that some of the allegations are related to very old issues. This is not a culture that appeared after the Activision-Blizzard merger. It was always here.

    The whole thing is listed in this complaint (as its original state, many, many people have come out since the suit and are sharing their stories, which will probably be added to the case if legally possible).

    https://regmedia.co.uk/2021/07/22/activision_blizzard_complaint.pdf

    Again, trigger warning, there are also some notes related to the suicide incident that are not appropriate for children. I think. It's not very explicit and kind of vague, while still being incriminating (makes sense what I mean when you read it), but I'm not sure I can write it out here. Any mod can get me confirmation on whether this is appropriate to discuss? It's very clear when it shows up, on page 15. It's connected to the suicide.

    Anyways. Some developments since:

    - Activision-Blizzard released a stupid statement, claiming innocence basically.
    - Players are absolutely livid. We don't have the numbers on it, but I think this was the straw for many, from what I can gather (don't quote me on this), WoW subs are seeing a mass exodus, moving to Final Fantasy XIV (for this reason among others, such as general displeasement with the company's practices and design standards).
    - Letter signed by (at the latest count I read) 2,600 current and former employers denouncing the public statement.
    - Activision-Blizzard stock fell by like 7-8% over a day
    - Massive strike organized by Activision-Blizzard workers, requiring basic worker rights. Note that they are not unionized, and this is "dangerous" for Activision-Blizzard, as some of the demands have to do with generally appropriate treatment that goes beyond the wage gap and sexism in the original suit.
    - Following this, Activision-Blizzard did a second apology, claiming more responsibility, but honestly not much. Personally I feel it's because they saw the stock drop and think PR and (for the lack of a better term) "egalitarian" worker suppression is more important to their bottom line than the suit, but again, I'm just a stupid poet.
    - More stuff has come out since. A Bill Cosby-themed hotel room, for one.
    - This is just a Twitter thread thing, so I'm not sure it's true, but I just saw it two minutes ago and wanted to share. https://twitter.com/JDespland/status/1420534909752463361?s=20 Basically Activision-Blizzard are allegedly organizing with the same company that Amazon uses to destroy unions at their roots.

    In general, each allegation has been partly explained away by some excuse (It was a long time ago, the Cosby reference was because he wore an ugly sweater and that was funny, etc), but with the number of allegations showing up, it's at the point that one thing being explained away doesn't actually matter. Again, IMO of a poet, but I've seen some talking heads about it, some attourneys and stuff, and it doesn't look good at all.

    Here's Leonard French's take on the issues (he's a copyright attourney, but his knowledge of basic law supercedes most of us here), reading through the original case document and some of the allegations showing up.



    I clipped a single picture of him where he reacts to the fact that lactation rooms were converted into meeting rooms, which I think sums up the situation pretty well.

    2021-07-26.png

    The updates are daily. Pics of conversations around the Cosby suite and the suite itself were just published today. There's so much stuff I haven't shared, such as Activision-Blizzard's own statements, but it's more because I have no idea where to begin. It's bad.
     
  2. Samson

    Samson Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,502
    Location:
    Cambridge
    This is really bad, but the thing that struck me about this was:

    Male employees proudly get hangovers
    While pride is not the right word, I am quite unapologetic about my hangovers, and I am happy to talk about my remediation strategy. I have never considered it sexist, and at least some the women at work are as up front about it. We have a pretty active work social scene, and you do not want to try keeping up with some of the women, particularly the more senior ones. I do not THINK I am being sexist.
     
  3. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,767
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    I think it more has to do with the incessant control of the behavior of female employees WHILE the guys were drinking at the job and/or coming in with hangovers. It also helps to argue that the environment was basically a frat house, which then also had implications of abuse and ill treatment of female employees.
     
    Lexicus, Birdjaguar and Samson like this.
  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    43,646
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Sounds like it will be a messy fight.
     
  5. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    26,124
    Location:
    Sovereign State of the Have-Nots
    Considering it's preceded by the claim that the workers drink at work...
     
  6. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,081
    Location:
    UK
    I'm hoping this is the catalyst for more widespread change in the industry, but I won't hold my breath. It's nice to see the coverage and support this has been getting, to say the very least.
     
  7. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,826
    It takes a bit of a carefree spirit* to drop trees while sort of in the bag, but... rendering? Writing? Good lord, if we removed all the texts that weren't written sober all we'd have is a bunch of even more boring biblethumper novels.

    There is obviously a problem, but this isn't the point that's the problem.

    *death wish? They're sort of similar.
     
  8. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,081
    Location:
    UK
    It is most definitely a point that is a problem. Boiling something down to "the" problem is reductive. There are many problems in the industry.

    Anyhow, false equivalences aside, alcohol doesn't help focus for long (if at all), and staring at a screen has a different impact on your eyes than writing on paper does (not to say that writing on paper, especially in poor light, can't).

    Really just reads to me like someone who doesn't know software underestimating the work it takes to make it.
     
  9. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,826
    Sure, thump away. ;)
     
  10. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    26,124
    Location:
    Sovereign State of the Have-Nots
    I agree with you that drinking per se is not the problem. The problem is that it seems to be part of a dynamic where men flaunt their impunity while women are subject to much stricter standards with regard to their personal conduct. It is, as others have pointed out, part of a system of social control/hierarchy at the company.
     
    Gorbles likes this.
  11. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,826
    That is a problem. Puritans love taking control of problems though, and that's a secondary danger, again the fault of the former. If we for some reason are to keep score.
     
  12. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,767
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    Drinking at work is mostly less of a problem if it's a small, indeed creative business, and even there it has its drawbacks (I've worked at an arthouse publisher where afternoon beers on company time it wasn't too uncommon.)

    Activision-Blizzard is a giant company with massive offices and a massive corporate structure. "Drinking makes good art" is fallacious to begin with, speaking as an author, and particularly bad in massive, corporate environments. Especially when it's connected to behavior described in the lawsuit. Did you read it? It's not two beers with the guys during break, it's getting absolutely hammered and crawling around on the office floors. Rendering this as a problem of "puritanism" is completely tone deaf, and I say that as comes from someone that understands workplace drinking has its place sometimes.
     
  13. haroon

    haroon Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,984
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Crazy Mountain
    Some peoples can be a really bad drunkard, I mean they can be loud-mouth, touchy and annoying when drunk, things can easily get over-board. Allowing employee to drunk, would inevitably increase the risk for such incident to be happened. People tend to bit loose and light-headed when they are drunk. Not all, I wasn't, but many are.
     
  14. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,826
    Okidoki. Y'all are probably just more in love with life. Or something. Probably a simple joy to be with.
     
  15. haroon

    haroon Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,984
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Crazy Mountain
    Have you ever work with mix gender team that most of the time drunk during working hours? how is it going?

    I'm seriously curious, not trying to argumentatively trap you or anything, because I never encounter or experience anything like that.
     
  16. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,081
    Location:
    UK
    Sayeth the thumper :D

    But seriously (as this is a serious thread), you say silly things, professionals will correct you. You don't like people posturing to you about your life experiences, but apparently you doing it other folk are fair game? Alrighty. But it's more than that, because this is already settled for you. You see "drinking at work" and you steer things to "puritans taking control". Any nuance just got shot in the thigh with that.

    If you want to drink on your job, or you used to and you see nothing wrong with that, whatever. It's your life. This thread is about a large (gaming) software house being sued for running a horrific shop. Your "think of the working class" spiel you like to trot out falls kinda flat when you wander into a thread on the premise of "drinking on the job isn't a big problem, because if people didn't do it we'd get more boring novels written". Various demographics working in software are exploited for no wage by people making far more than they should.

    It's something you should care about. Instead, you patronise because somebody dared make a negative correlation between "doing a job" and "doing it blind drunk". It might not be puritanical, but you sure have your dogma. Thump, thump.
     
  17. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,826
    :lol:

    What else did I say? Do go on.
     
  18. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,767
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    You talked about thumping puritans as though it applied to this situation. This is completely off the mark, and when engaged, you either framed the responses as the very same puritans or didn't expand much on your point, really.

    I think your point was about the fact that drinking on the job in itself may not be a problem (or outright isn't, with your romantization of artistry as connected to drug use, but let's leave that for now). This is not particularly deep and not particularly connected to the situation where "drinking on the job" means the equivalent of drinking in a working population the size of a small music festival, and in a very unfettered way. I don't think you believe it's smart for productivity or safety for such an environment to get wasted to the point of floor crawling. Such festival-sized populations usually have a hefty bulk of security to keep things somewhat under control, and we're a situation where HR safekept the drunks.

    I'm presuming, rather, you believe that having a beer or two in this environment can be fine, and/or that it is alright to drink oneself senseless at work in other environments. This is a fine position (to me), but mouthing off about puritans (which is incendiary to the discussion) makes the whole conversation muddy, as if the rest of the posters think having a beer at work is universally bad. Especially when you frame following responses as if it's this very same bible thumping or whatever. Going into the discussion like this is firstly intentionally placing a red herring, and then avoiding the points afterwards with smugness (which makes the incendiary behavior seem intentional, by the way, which is strange from how I know you). Your post fished for counterpoints and then you don't expand on your point after the counterpoints have been presented. Some people use this rhetorical device of yours to intentionally troll, others do it when they presented a bad point and are then forced into a corner.

    Again, I like talking with you here, I just don't think your approach were constructive. I'd very much personally appreciate that you outline what you think more concretely and we can figure on what you're thinking (much of the above I'm getting of what you're thinking is sheer inference), and we can agree or not, and in either way, we can move on and talk about something substantial. :) Y'know, since then we'll have some substance to talk about, instead of "it's so puritanical", "that's not what I said".
     
    Gorbles likes this.
  19. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    43,646
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Moderator Action: Please remember that this is an RD thread and keep the chatter friendly and on topic.
     
  20. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,826
    Puritans always apply to the situation. Prohibition was passed on a beaten and impoverished wives platform. Beating and impoverishing disempowered women is a society-level issue. But the cockroaches always cite the good when they overreach. We need voting-security reform, remember? Step one to step two, sorry if I "jumped" the conversation. I thought the obviously bad was obvious. But ok. Since this is where we seem to be: "DRUNK CRAWLY *******S ARE BAD."

    There, I actually said that. A "professional" level assessment. Maybe I deserve a raise now?
     
    Angst and Birdjaguar like this.

Share This Page