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California’s Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard (Podcast)

Aug. 24, 2021, 8:44 PM

The video game maker Activision Blizzard, Inc. is being sued for gender discrimination and harassment. The $60 billion company, behind games that include Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, isn’t being sued by female employees in this suit though. They’re being sued by the state of California.

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing says its two-year investigation into Activision Blizzard found a “frat boy” culture where its female workers are regularly subjected to sexual banter and jokes about rape, among other forms of harassment. The female employees were also held back from promotions, paid less than their male coworkers, and criticized for leaving to pick up their children from daycare, according to the suit.

On this episode of On The Merits, Maeve Allsup, our California correspondent, talks about why the state brought the hammer down on the video game maker, and why the involvement of a government regulator could represent a turning point.

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To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at dschultz@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the executive producer responsible for this podcast: Josh Block at jBlock@bloombergindustry.com

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