Activision Blizzard Sued by California

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St_Monica

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#1  Edited By St_Monica
Member since 2020 • 569 Posts

Bloomberg:

Activision Blizzard Sued Over ‘Frat Boy’ Culture, Harassment (1)

Video game giant Activision Blizzard Inc., maker of games including World of Warcraft and Diablo, fosters a “frat boy” culture in which female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation, according to a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

A two-year investigation by the state agency found that the company discriminated against female employees in terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, assignment, promotion, and termination. Company leadership consistently failed to take steps to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, the agency said.

According to the complaint, filed Tuesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, female employees make up around 20% of the Activision workforce, and are subjected to a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture,” including “cube crawls,” in which male employees “drink copious amounts of alcohol as they crawl their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees.”

The agency alleges male employees play video games during the workday while delegating responsibilities to female employees, engage in sexual banter, and joke openly about rape, among other things.

Female employees allege being held back from promotions because of the possibility they might become pregnant, being criticized for leaving to pick their children up from daycare, and being kicked out of lactation rooms so male colleagues could use the room for meetings, the complaint says.

Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would hit on them, make derogatory comments about rape, and otherwise engage in demeaning behavior, the agency alleges.

The suit also points to a female Activision employee who took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. The employee had been subjected to intense sexual harassment prior to her death, including having nude photos passed around at a company holiday party, the complaint says.

The agency seeks an injunction forcing compliance with workplace protections, as well as unpaid wages, pay adjustments, back pay, and lost wages and benefits for female employees.

(whole article)

The news also made Asmongold, a very popular WoW player, feel the following:

I feel the same as Asmon. What do you think, SW?

Edit: added the latter part of the article and Schreier's Tweets.

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nintendoboy16

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#2 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 38521 Posts

And damn near after they got crap for their Chinese ties and Ubi had those major allegations.

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GoldenElementXL

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#3 GoldenElementXL
Member since 2016 • 6050 Posts

There is some WILD shit in that lawsuit. I don’t think most frat bros would feel comfortable working at that place…

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Pedro

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#4 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 53081 Posts

I amazed this shit still happens in the works place.

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St_Monica

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#5 St_Monica
Member since 2020 • 569 Posts

@nintendoboy16: Well, yeah, they seem to be financially successful (CoD games sell like pancakes every year and WoW still has so many subscribers), but the company seems to have ethical issues is concerning. I remember they banned a Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong protesters a few years ago.

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GoldenElementXL

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#6 GoldenElementXL
Member since 2016 • 6050 Posts

@Pedro said:

I amazed this shit still happens in the works place.

I know, right? That suit reads like some shit from the 80’s. People doing coke in the bathrooms. Folks just banging wherever… WTF?!??

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uninspiredcup

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#7 uninspiredcup  Online
Member since 2013 • 46519 Posts

@goldenelementxl said:

I know, right? That suit reads like some shit from the 80’s. People doing coke in the bathrooms. Folks just banging wherever… WTF?!??

That sounds terrible.

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hardwenzen

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#8 hardwenzen
Member since 2005 • 11179 Posts

Saw this on Asmon/Zack stream when he left this tweet. That's really fuckedup. But anyways, Bobby Kotick merits a raise by 70 million.

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Zaryia

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#9  Edited By Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 15812 Posts

The document lays out some really screwed up shit. I hope they clean house instead of shut down, I really wanted Diablo 2 and 4.

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hardwenzen

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#10 hardwenzen
Member since 2005 • 11179 Posts

Makes me wonder if this kind of stuff happens in Japan or its mainly the US.

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SargentD

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#11  Edited By SargentD
Member since 2020 • 727 Posts

No wonder WOW sucks so much right now

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SOedipus

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#12 SOedipus
Member since 2006 • 13425 Posts

Aww man, I just pre-purchased Diablo II: Resurrected... like a minute ago. I hope I'm the only one. It'd be messed up to see a spike in sales after news like this breaks out.

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onesiphorus

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#13 onesiphorus
Member since 2014 • 4095 Posts

@hardwenzen said:

Makes me wonder if this kind of stuff happens in Japan or its mainly the US.

Toxic workplace behavior is not restricted to a single country; it can be found throughout the world.

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hardwenzen

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#14 hardwenzen
Member since 2005 • 11179 Posts

@onesiphorus said:
@hardwenzen said:

Makes me wonder if this kind of stuff happens in Japan or its mainly the US.

Toxic workplace behavior is not restricted to a single country; it can be found throughout the world.

For sure, but in the US, over the last few years, we've heard too many stories. I don't think i've ever heard anything of this kind coming from Japan.

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Ghost_of_Phobos

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#15 Ghost_of_Phobos  Online
Member since 2020 • 2521 Posts

Got them blacklisted for years now, with the only exception of Sekiro which was published by them.

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Litchie

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#16 Litchie
Member since 2003 • 28507 Posts

Bad that Acti/Blizz sucks even more than I knew they did. Good that they're getting sued. They'll just pay the small fee with their infinite money, and go on with their business though. Would be cool if there were punishments that actually had an effect on rich companies.

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Kadin_Kai

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#17 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 1778 Posts

@hardwenzen: I can tell you this sort of behaviour is far worse in Japan.

My ex was Japanese she told me the office environment is incredibly sexist and women treated as eye candy.

Japanese employers require female staff to wear high heels and ban them from wearing glasses.

Japan 'glasses ban' for women at work sparks backlash https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50342714

Japan’s labour minister says high heels at work are 'necessary' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48534453

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NNoyingHusband

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#18 NNoyingHusband
Member since 2020 • 380 Posts

Without reading more into it, pay isn't based on sex, it's based on skill and experience, your qualifications. You could have the same position, different pay for a male and female. Different pay between people of the same sex too. They'd have to prove there is a consistent pay gap among men and women in the same job with the same or similar qualifications, not just claiming it's happening when it's happening here and there. Not everyone gets paid the same. My gut says this part of the case won't go anywhere.

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GoldenElementXL

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#19 GoldenElementXL
Member since 2016 • 6050 Posts

@nnoyinghusband: You must be new to the world…

Pay gap research

Next you’ll tell us there isn’t a race based pay gap either

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Pedro

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#20 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 53081 Posts

@nnoyinghusband said:

Without reading more into it, pay isn't based on sex, it's based on skill and experience, your qualifications. You could have the same position, different pay for a male and female. Different pay between people of the same sex too. They'd have to prove there is a consistent pay gap among men and women in the same job with the same or similar qualifications, not just claiming it's happening when it's happening here and there. Not everyone gets paid the same. My gut says this part of the case won't go anywhere.

The first two word explains the rest of your comment.😂🤣

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SecretPolice

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#21 SecretPolice
Member since 2007 • 38835 Posts

Probably should be locked and move to political gamer. :P

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NNoyingHusband

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#22  Edited By NNoyingHusband
Member since 2020 • 380 Posts
@goldenelementxl said:

@nnoyinghusband: You must be new to the world…

Pay gap research

Next you’ll tell us there isn’t a race based pay gap either

You are aware the court can't just say, ok Blizzard did this, with no proof to the matter? The lawyers will have to prove it exists. It's not that it doesn't exist, it's that they have to prove it. Going and saying "well they don't pay us equally" just to tack it on won't work. If they can show a bunch of instances where people are in the same positions, with similar qualifications, but there's a pay gap going on, then they have a case on that topic. Someone straight out of college can't complain when a coworker with a degree and 20 years of experience is being paid more than them in the same position.

Most people who complain about pay gaps go about it all wrong because they lack the basic understanding of the conversation. "Why do WNBA players get paid less than NBA players? Why did Gal Gadot get paid significantly less than Ben Affleck on The Justice League movie?" We as a society are aware that not everyone gets paid the same. There are factors that determine pay gaps are valid. There are also instances where a company is clearly showing favoritism instead of valid reasons.

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VFighter

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#23 VFighter  Online
Member since 2016 • 9136 Posts

@goldenelementxl: Thanks for the laugh.

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hardwenzen

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#24 hardwenzen
Member since 2005 • 11179 Posts

@kadin_kai said:

@hardwenzen: I can tell you this sort of behaviour is far worse in Japan.

My ex was Japanese she told me the office environment is incredibly sexist and women treated as eye candy.

Japanese employers require female staff to wear high heels and ban them from wearing glasses.

Japan 'glasses ban' for women at work sparks backlash https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50342714

Japan’s labour minister says high heels at work are 'necessary' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48534453

wll that's completely fked. Are we in the 80's or what....

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GoldenElementXL

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#25  Edited By GoldenElementXL
Member since 2016 • 6050 Posts

@nnoyinghusband: Your examples are foolish. READ the information in the link I provided. Look at how they came to those numbers.

And yes, the plaintiffs will have to prove their claims. How is that different than any other suit?

Your NBA vs WNBA example is also ridiculous. NBA players get paid 50% of the leagues revenue vs the WNBA players only getting 20% of their leagues revenue. They play in the same arenas, represent the same cities, but get a smaller piece of the pie they’re responsible for. Hell, WNBA players go overseas just to make more money. You just assume the NBA makes more money, so thats why the players get paid so much more. That’s a bullshit talking point. Be honest. How much Fox News do you consume?

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NNoyingHusband

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#26 NNoyingHusband
Member since 2020 • 380 Posts

@goldenelementxl said:

@nnoyinghusband: Your examples are foolish. READ the information in the link I provided. Look at how they came to those numbers.

And yes, the plaintiffs will have to prove their claims. How is that different than any other suit?

Your NBA vs WNBA example is also ridiculous. NBA players get paid 50% of the leagues revenue vs the WNBA players only getting 20% of their leagues revenue. They play in the same arenas, represent the same cities, but get a smaller piece of the pie they’re responsible for. Hell, WNBA players go overseas just to make more money. You just assume the NBA makes more money, so thats why the players get paid so much more. That’s a bullshit talking point. Be honest. How much Fox News do you consume?

I stated at first I didn't read it. I'm simply commenting that it will have to be proven. It's actually not a ridiculous example as this was a big liberal complaint how long ago? 2-4 years ago? This was all over the news. So has arguments over other athlete and celebrity pay. You made the mistake of claiming I acted as if pay gaps don't exist, as if no companies do it, and I never said that. Your fault. I stated it has to be proven, not just tossed around. They'll likely need to basically audit the positions, see what everyone makes, what their qualifications are, to in fact prove if Blizzard is engaging in favoritism towards males. Again, way too many people claim stuff like this happens but lack the understanding of why someone gets paid different than another.

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Zaryia

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#27  Edited By Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 15812 Posts

@vfighter said:

@goldenelementxl: Thanks for the laugh.

Is Pew incorrect?

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Kadin_Kai

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#28 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 1778 Posts

@hardwenzen: But of course we must note that its not all Japanese employers have these requirements.

However, sexualising women and young girls is a problem in Japan. There is a sizable industry exploiting pre-teens in Japan and their fan-base are all middle aged men.

Japan’s Schoolgirl Pin-Ups| Unreported World - YouTube

Moreover, paedophilic comic books were banned only several years ago in Japan.

I have noticed there is a bit of this in neighbouring Hong Kong and South Korea too.

But going back to the original post, I think this sort of behaviour is endemic in the gaming world. The industry is dominated by men. It is also prevalent in the military in many, if not most countries and coincidentally the military is dominated by men.

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Mesome713

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#29  Edited By Mesome713  Online
Member since 2019 • 843 Posts

@kadin_kai: Japan has an issue with people not having kids. It’s why they sexualize things so much in Japan. They’re trying to get people to have kids. Even at a young age with cartoons etc they start it.

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Kadin_Kai

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#30 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 1778 Posts

@mesome713 said:

@kadin_kai: Japan has an issue with people not having kids. It’s why they sexualize things so much in Japan. They’re trying to get people to have kids. Even at a young age with cartoons etc they start it.

Ha what a joke, that's perhaps the most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard.

So you believe its a government policy to force women to wear high-heels? And paedophilic manga is a textbook? Or perhaps the raping of millions of women during WW2 was another population boosting policy?

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Mesome713

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#31 Mesome713  Online
Member since 2019 • 843 Posts

@kadin_kai: Wasn’t making an excuse. Was simply stating that Japan has a issue of its people not having kids for a very long time. That’s why they sexualize stuff a lot in Japan. They do it for men and women to try to get them to reproduce more and fix they’re aging issue.

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Vaasman

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#32 Vaasman
Member since 2008 • 15018 Posts

Thank god I unsubbed 3 years ago, Blizzard/Activision is total shit, and now I can see it's not just at production quality.

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Kadin_Kai

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#33 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 1778 Posts

@mesome713 said:

@kadin_kai: Wasn’t making an excuse. Was simply stating that Japan has a issue of its people not having kids for a very long time. That’s why they sexualize stuff a lot in Japan. They do it for men and women to try to get them to reproduce more and fix they’re aging issue.

Its a ridiculous explanation. Many countries have low birth rates.

Japan has a long history of sexual exploitation.

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Mesome713

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#34  Edited By Mesome713  Online
Member since 2019 • 843 Posts

@kadin_kai: Japan has one of the worst in the whole world. They are considered the oldest population. It’s a massive issue in Japan.

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DragonfireXZ95

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#35 DragonfireXZ95
Member since 2005 • 26352 Posts

That's horrible. Guess it doesn't surprise me, unfortunately. This kind of crap is way too common.

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Kadin_Kai

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#36 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 1778 Posts

@mesome713: I cannot believe in 2021 you’re trying to find excuses for such behaviour.

If you say, as you claim Japan sexualises young girls and women to help with its ageing population, then can you show me which government policy promotes this.

Moreover, the sexualisation of pre-teens will not yield population growth since most of them would not have begun mensuration.

Your defences are worrying, it feels like this is the sort of behaviour you may subscribe to.

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kingtito

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#37 kingtito  Online
Member since 2003 • 11537 Posts

@goldenelementxl said:

@nnoyinghusband: Your examples are foolish. READ the information in the link I provided. Look at how they came to those numbers.

And yes, the plaintiffs will have to prove their claims. How is that different than any other suit?

Your NBA vs WNBA example is also ridiculous. NBA players get paid 50% of the leagues revenue vs the WNBA players only getting 20% of their leagues revenue. They play in the same arenas, represent the same cities, but get a smaller piece of the pie they’re responsible for. Hell, WNBA players go overseas just to make more money. You just assume the NBA makes more money, so thats why the players get paid so much more. That’s a bullshit talking point. Be honest. How much Fox News do you consume?

Well the NBA is a billion dollar industry while the WNBA usually loses, barely breaks even or makes a very small profit while the NBA had/has to fund the league just to keep it from folding.

That's not an assumption that's a fact. The NBA has had to subsidize the WNBA for years because they failed to make significant or any revenue. So why should players get significantly more % in a league that barely makes any money in the 1st place?

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Mesome713

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#39  Edited By Mesome713  Online
Member since 2019 • 843 Posts

@kadin_kai: Just look at their music, anime, movies, tv shows, etc. The government allows these things to be sexualize in order to promote child birth.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2020/659419/EPRS_BRI(2020)659419_EN.pdf

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Seabas989

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#40 Seabas989
Member since 2009 • 13500 Posts

Not surprising. Sounds like something out of Mad Men. + The Wolf of Wall Street.

Anecdotally, I've been told women in tech experience all sorts of harassment. I can assume the video game industry is probably more common.

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uninspiredcup

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#41  Edited By uninspiredcup  Online
Member since 2013 • 46519 Posts
@DragonfireXZ95 said:

That's horrible. Guess it doesn't surprise me, unfortunately. This kind of crap is way too common.

Yea. It's like signing up to be a Nazi and discovering they might be bad.

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St_Monica

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#42 St_Monica
Member since 2020 • 569 Posts

Damn, hope this is not true.

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uninspiredcup

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#43  Edited By uninspiredcup  Online
Member since 2013 • 46519 Posts

Da ****.

Edit - Misread that and thought they actually took a picture of her V while dead. Which truly would be fucked up.

Even then, obviously still horrible shit.

But expected. Money, power a sense of untouchability = debauchery. A tale as old as time be it Nero with his fiddle or Elizabeth Báthory picking out village girls.

Imagine tons of shit like this across the board we don't know about, and I wouldn't be surprised if within the industry it's well known but given a pass due to that perceived omnipotence.

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loonski

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#44 loonski
Member since 2004 • 162 Posts

Taiwanese Chip Industry should take over California.......California tech industry should move to Texas. Then China can have Taiwan space and no loss to the global tech industry :D

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Hallenbeck77

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#45 Hallenbeck77  Moderator
Member since 2005 • 16090 Posts

@st_monica: I don't think the state would put that in their complaint if there was no evidence to back it up.

There's just no words to describe how reprehensible this is. The sad thing is, there going to be diehard fans that's going to try to defend the company's actions.

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DragonfireXZ95

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#46 DragonfireXZ95
Member since 2005 • 26352 Posts

@uninspiredcup: That show is one of my faves. 😂

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#47 onesiphorus
Member since 2014 • 4095 Posts

kingtito said:

Well the NBA is a billion dollar industry while the WNBA usually loses, barely breaks even or makes a very small profit while the NBA had/has to fund the league just to keep it from folding.

That's not an assumption that's a fact. The NBA has had to subsidize the WNBA for years because they failed to make significant or any revenue. So why should players get significantly more % in a league that barely makes any money in the 1st place?

Most people may not be aware that women's professional basketball leagues in the U.S. prior to the existence of the WNBA in 1997 did not last very long, with some lasting a year before folding. The WNBA is lucky to exist for over twenty years, as if the NBA has not supported it all these years, it would folded like the rest.

There are factors why the WNBA is not profitable compared to the NBA, such as WNBA games mostly being played during the NBA off-season (June to September), poor TV/media coverage compared to the NBA, low-scoring games, low attendance, and lack of star players.

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Juub1990

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#48 Juub1990
Member since 2013 • 10988 Posts

So is there any chance of the company going under because of that?

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Kadin_Kai

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#49 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 1778 Posts

@mesome713: This is getting absurd.

So you’re implying pre-teen girls, young women and adult women approve of their sexualisation by men?

If so surely they won’t be protesting.

Japan is a highly male dominated society, it has been this way for centuries.

I doubt the majority of females in Japan are being turned on by paedophilic manga and anime.

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lundy86_4

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#50 lundy86_4
Member since 2003 • 58901 Posts

If these allegations are accurate, then some people are seriously f*cked up. This is crazy.

@Juub1990 said:

So is there any chance of the company going under because of that?

Highly doubt it. Likely an out-of-court settlement and restructuring. If mediation isn't agreed upon by both parties, then it's gonna be a mud-slinging contest.