Following this week’s sex discrimination allegations, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack sent out an email to employees. In the letter, obtained by Jason Schreier, Brack says he will be meeting members of staff personally to discuss the situation and ways to improve.
Below is the letter in its entirety:
Hello Blizzard —
I personally have a lot of emotions coming out of yesterday, and I know you do, too. The allegations and the hurt of current and former employees are extremely troubling.
I know many of you would like to receive more clarity. While I can’t comment on the specifics of the case as it’s an open investigation, what I can say is that the behavior detailed in the allegations is completely unacceptable.
It goes — with saying — it is completely unacceptable for anyone in the company to face discrimination or harassment.
It goes — with saying — that everyone should feel safe working here, whether we are on campus, at BlizzCon, or working from home.
It goes — with saying — it takes courage to come forward, and all claims brought to the company are investigated by internal and (when needed) external investigators . We take these claims very seriously. Claims can be made without fear of retaliation, and many times, I attend to them personally, along with our other leaders .
Stepping back — when I talked with Bobby [Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard — Ed.] about taking this job, one of the first things I mentioned was a revered saint of the Brack household — Gloria Steinem. Growing up, the value of women as equals, understanding the work that had been done for equal treatment, and the fact that there was still much to do, were common themes.This is just one of the reasons why the fight for equality is incredibly important to me. People with different backgrounds, views, and experiences are essential for Blizzard, our teams, and our player community. I disdain “bro culture,” and have spent my career fighting against it.
Iterating on our culture with the same intensity that we bring to our games is imperative, with our values acting as our north star. This is some of the most important work we do, both as professionals and human beings.
A company is more than a legal construct that exists as a piece of paper in a filing cabinet in Delaware. The people that work at the company make it what it is, through their actions and creations. Each of us plays a role in maintaining a place of safety for one other. And it is also up to each of us to continue to craft the Blizzard we want – and commit to doing our part in keeping Blizzard great but always aspiring for more .
The leadership team and I will be meeting with many of you to answer questions and discuss how we can move forward. In the meantime, I want you to know that you can talk to any manager, any HR partner, any member of the legal team, or to any one on the executive team [including, Hey J]. If you feel more comfortable talking to someone outside of Blizzard, or prefer to be anonymous, you can contact the Way2Play Integrity Line.
I feel angry, sad, and a host of other emotions, but I also feel grateful to work alongside a set of leaders and thousands of employees who join me in their commitment to continuous improvement.
Thank you Blizzard.
Users on Twitter remain unconviced by the letter. They are calling Brack’s rhetoric “the Guillemot tactic” in reference to how Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot apologized for workpalce misconduct last year without necessarily taking any actual remedial action.
“[The letter] doesn’t tackle his personal failures as described in the case files and it doesn’t answer why they released that awful statement yesterday denying it when this seems like quite clear acknowledgment that he knows its true,” notes another user. “Also bringing up ‘Bobby’ Kotick and his own life story seems ill-timed to say the least. The whole thing has a ‘we’re listening’ vibe, when the least it should be is a ‘here’s what we are doing right now’ plan of action.”