GTA Parent Company Take-Two Responds To Activision Blizzard "Frat Boy" Lawsuit

CEO Strauss Zelnick reacts to the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard and details the measures his company has in place to prevent harassment.

As part of Take-Two's earnings report on Monday, the publisher's CEO responded to the situation surrounding Activision Blizzard and the lawsuit regarding sexual harassment and discrimination against women at the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft company.

Strauss Zelnick put it simply: "We will not tolerate harassment or discrimination or bad behavior of any kind. We never have."

He added that new hires at Take-Two learn about the company's harassment and discrimination policies when they're brought on, and every new employee must sign documents regarding their understanding of those policies and practices. What's more, new hires are required to take anti-harassment training, and then bi-annually after that.

"And we make it clear through the training and through our policies that if anyone does experience any inappropriate contact there are multiple avenues to report that, and they'll never be retaliated against for doing so," he said. "Those options include the management chain, anyone in HR, an anonymous complaint by phone or online, through a third-party hotline, and website reporting. Take-Two has a director of diversity and inclusion, and that remit includes developing, executing, and leading the global [diversity and inclusion] strategy and that supports our business objectives."

"We also have multiple employee resource groups inside the company and we have more growing all the time, which gives us all a thrill. So, that's what we're up to very specifically," he added.

Overall, Zelnick said he is happy with how Take-Two as a company operates with respect to these policies, but he acknowledged that the company can do better.

"Is there more we can do? I'm certain there is. Do we feel like we're in a pretty good place? We're grateful that we do feel that way right now," he said.

In an interview with GI.biz, Zelnick reiterated these points. "We think we as an industry and we as a company can of course do more," Zelnick said. "We have an exceedingly diverse board at our company, and have had for a very long time. We're proud of our record, and at the same time we don't rest on that. We know there's always more to be done."

California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing has launched a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard over claims of equal pay violations, sex discrimination, and sexual harassment, among other things. The suit also mentions that some male employees "engage in sexual banter and joke openly about rape, among other things."

Activision Blizzard employees walked out last week in protest of the company's response to the case, while hundreds of Ubisoft employees wrote an open letter in support of their colleagues at Activision Blizzard.

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