Rocksteady Releases Official Statement, Hires Third-Party To Interview Employees
The game of “he-said, she-said” at Rocksteady games continues, as they issue a formal response to an article in The Guardian claiming that the company is a toxic environment for women. In 2018, 10 of the 16 female staff members provided the company with a letter detailing the company’s failure to address sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the office.
Earlier this week, one of the signatories of that letter shared it with The Guardian, stating that the company’s action amounted to a single seminar and that several people left the company due to inaction. She shared the letter because she believes that people are still experiencing sexism, harassment, and inappropriate behavior. The report from the Guardian does not state whether their source is still employed at Rocksteady or not.
Just a few days ago, Rocksteady claimed that it was in the middle of drafting a response to the article in The Guardian when it received an unsolicited letter from seven of the original signatories. They then tweeted that letter out in full for the public to view at their leisure. In brief, the letter claims that female members of the company feel that Rocksteady has addressed their concerns and the person who spoke with The Guardian does not speak for them. You can read the full letter in our report below.
Now we have an official response from the company claiming that they took all appropriate measures to address the original complaints, including terminating guilty staff members and asking for input on how they portray female characters in their games.
It is no secret that game companies have a bad reputation for being sexist and exclusionary in their offices. However, this particular case has a lot of strange elements to it. First of all, it’s odd that—if you feel that you and others are being mistreated—you would wait nearly two full years to speak to an outside source of the abuses that you are experiencing. Secondly, Rocksteady’s tweet the other day was weirdly insistent that they had received an “unsolicited” letter that just-so-happened to be defending their actions.
The problem is that—because of the continued anonymity of the sources—we don’t know what the full story is. Third-party interviews should help to clear things up, but if nobody decides to participate in those interviews, we are going to continue to be left in the dark. If it turns out that Rocksteady’s “unsolicited” letter was not—in fact—unsolicited, there will be serious and far-reaching consequences for the company. We are going to have to wait and see what happens and hope that the truth comes out sooner rather than later.
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