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Nintendo Responds To "Distressing And Disturbing" Activision Blizzard And Bobby Kotick Reports

Like Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo says it is troubled by the recent developments involving Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.


Like Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo of America has now weighed in on the situation surrounding Activision Blizzard involving CEO Bobby Kotick, who is said to have known about and covered up instances of sexual harassment at the company.

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser sent an email to staff on Friday, November 19, in which Bowser said the reports about sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard are "distressing and disturbing." The note was sent to "all levels" of Nintendo of America, according to Fanbyte, which was the first to acquire the email and subsequently confirmed its contents.

"Along with all of you, I've been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company," Bowser said. "I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo's beliefs, values, and policies."

According to Fanbyte, Bowser told Nintendo of America staff that the company wants to have an "open and inclusive workplace where all are welcome." The executive added that Nintendo has been "in contact with Activision, have taken action, and are assessing others."

Bowser didn't share full specifics, but in the email he said he called on the Entertainment Software Association--a lobbying group for video games that also runs E3 every year--to, as Fanbyte puts it, "hold its members to the highest standard." Nintendo of America and Activision Blizzard are members of the ESA. "Every company in the industry must create an environment where everyone is respected and treated as equals, and where all understand the consequences of not doing so," Bowser said.

A spokesperson for Nintendo told GameSpot, "We can confirm the content of Doug Bowser's internal email to Nintendo of America staff is accurate. We have nothing further to share on this topic."

A Wall Street Journal report said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew about and covered up reports of sexual harassment, and also failed to disclose what he knew to the company's board of directors. Activision Blizzard said the WSJ report mischaracterized some events. In the wake of this, Activision Blizzard's board has stood behind Kotick, just recently announcing on November 22 the formation of a "Workplace Responsibility Committee" to oversee how the company implements new "policies, procedures, and commitments to improve workplace culture and eliminate all forms of harassment and discrimination at the company."

The committee is led by Activision Blizzard independent directors Dawn Ostroff and Reveta Bowers, while the company said it's looking to add a "new, diverse director to the board."

Kotick recently said he would consider stepping down as Activision Blizzard CEO if the company can't fix its issues "with speed." Activision Blizzard's stock price stock price has been falling steadily since the WSJ report came out, and it's been on a downward trend since the state of California first sued the company in July. More than 1,700 Activision Blizzard employees have signed a petition calling on Kotick to resign.

For more, check out the full timeline of events involving Activision Blizzard and the California lawsuit it's facing.

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