Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Sexual Harassment

Gamers Greet Microsoft’s Activision Deal With Guarded Optimism

Gamers Greet Microsoft’s Activision Deal With Guarded Optimism

Technology
Activision’s track record with some of its games also became spottier. In November, it delayed new versions of Diablo and Overwatch. That same month, the newly released Call of Duty: Vanguard was widely panned as being boring and full of glitches.Parris Lilly, a video game streamer and co-host at Gamertag Radio, said Microsoft’s deal to buy Activision would not only help Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s video game subscription service, but also let Activision’s developers step off the treadmill. Microsoft’s purchase might permit developers to “take a well needed break” so they can improve games over time, rather than update them so frequently, Mr. Lilly said.He added that the acquisition could be an opportunity to fix Activision’s workplace issues under Mr. Kotick. Mr. Kotick declined to say in...

Microsoft opens a review of its sexual harassment policies.

Technology
Microsoft has selected a law firm to review its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, the company’s board announced on Thursday, after shareholders raised alarms about how Microsoft and Bill Gates, one of its founders, had treated employees, especially women.The board said it had chosen Arent Fox, based in Washington, D.C. Microsoft said the firm had never done employment-related work for it in the past.Shareholders passed a resolution during the company’s 2021 annual meeting to review the policies Microsoft has in place for its employees to protect them against abuse and unwanted sexual advances.The resolution passed with support from almost 78 percent of Microsoft’s shareholders. It was the only of five proposals on ethical issues put forth by shareholders to succeed. Oth...

The Metaverse’s Dark Side: Here Come Harassment and Assaults

Technology
VRChat did not respond to a request for comment.After Ms. Siggens faced abuse while playing the Population One virtual reality game, she said, she joined a virtual support group for women, many of whom also play the game. Members regularly dealt with harassment in the game, she said. In June, Meta acquired BigBox VR, the developer of Population One.Another member of the support group, Mari DeGrazia, 48, of Tucson, Ariz., said she saw harassment and assault happen in Population One “two to three times a week, if not more.”“Sometimes, we see things happen two to three times day that violate the game’s rules,” she added.BigBox VR did not respond to a request for comment.Ms. DeGrazia said the people behind Population One had responded to her complaints and appeared interested in making the gam...
Former Interns Say SpaceX Ignored Sexual Harassment

Former Interns Say SpaceX Ignored Sexual Harassment

Technology
But in the aerospace industry broadly, men outnumber women roughly eight to one, according to census data compiled by Data U.S.A. More women have been sharing stories of sexism and harassment while on the job. Women who work as interns and seek full-time jobs may be particularly vulnerable to harassment and other forms of discrimination, especially when anti-sexual harassment education is scant, as Ms. Kosak said. Human relations departments, including SpaceX’s, employees say, have not always been quick to discipline or terminate employees who have been the subject of an investigation.Women at other space companies have also described discriminatory workplace dynamics. In September, a group of 21 current and former employees of Blue Origin, the space company owned by Jeff Bezos, wrote in a...
Alibaba Dismisses Employee Who Accused Her Boss of Rape

Alibaba Dismisses Employee Who Accused Her Boss of Rape

Technology
In the video she posted on the company’s internal website, she accused her boss, identified in media reports by his surname, Wang, of attacking her in a hotel in the city of Jinan after a drunken evening with a company client, whom she also accused of sexual assault. She said that she had reported the assault to the company but no one acted, prompting her to go public.Updated Dec. 10, 2021, 8:09 p.m. ETProsecutors in Jinan investigated her accusation but announced in September that they would not file charges against Mr. Wang because his behavior did not constitute a crime. The other man, who has been identified in police statements by his last name, Zhang, is still reported to be under investigation for his role in the events that night.The decision not to prosecute Mr. Wang brought ...

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo Over His Efforts to Help Andrew

Business
The star anchor Chris Cuomo was fired by CNN on Saturday amid a network inquiry into his efforts to help his brother, Andrew M. Cuomo, then the governor of New York, fight off a sexual harassment scandal.“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense,” CNN said in a statement on Saturday. “We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.”The announcement completed a stunning downfall for Chris Cuomo, the top-rated anchor at CNN and a veteran television journalist who had built a successfu...
CNN and Chris Cuomo Face Difficult Questions After Anchor’s Suspension

CNN and Chris Cuomo Face Difficult Questions After Anchor’s Suspension

Business
For Mr. Zucker, the decision to suspend Mr. Cuomo was a clear shift after months of supporting his highest-rated anchor, even as details surfaced about Mr. Cuomo’s involvement with his brother’s response to the scandal and as some journalists inside the network raised objections.In May, the network called Mr. Cuomo’s actions “inappropriate,” and the anchor apologized on-air. But Mr. Zucker also told CNN employees that Mr. Cuomo “is human, and these are very unique circumstances.” When records surfaced in August showing some of his exchanges with the governor’s aides, Mr. Cuomo remained on the air, acknowledging the situation only after his brother resigned.“I tried to do the right thing, and I just want you all to know that,” he told viewers on Aug. 16.Mr. Zucker’s calculus changed this we...

Kevin Spacey Ordered to Pay $31 Million to ‘House of Cards’ Studio

Technology
An arbitrator ruled last year that Kevin Spacey and his production companies owe MRC, the studio behind the Netflix series “House of Cards,” nearly $31 million for breach of contract following numerous sexual harassment allegations against the actor.The secret arbitrator’s ruling, which was issued 13 months ago, was made public on Monday when lawyers for MRC petitioned a California court to confirm the award.Mr. Spacey was once the centerpiece of the hit Netflix series, which ran for six seasons between 2013 and 2018. Mr. Spacey played the main character, the conniving politician Frank Underwood, and served as an executive producer of the series.While the sixth and final season was being filmed in 2017, the actor Anthony Rapp accused Mr. Spacey of making a sexual advance toward him in 1986...

Activision Blizzard to Improve Diversity and Workplace Culture

Technology
Activision Blizzard, the embattled video game company behind Call of Duty and other titles, announced a slate of new initiatives Thursday morning aimed at improving diversity and the company’s work environment.The company has faced intense pressure since July, when a lawsuit from a California fair employment agency accused the video game publisher of fostering a frat-like culture in which sexual harassment and gender discrimination were rampant. The lawsuit, the company’s fumbled response to the claims against it and the subsequent investigations by federal agencies prompted outrage among Activision’s game developers and the broader gaming industry, which has long grappled with sexism and toxic behavior.Activision is putting $250 million toward hiring more women, people who identify as non...
Axel Springer Removes Julian Reichelt After Times Report

Axel Springer Removes Julian Reichelt After Times Report

Business
Germany’s most powerful newspaper removed its top editor Monday after months of defending his sexual relationships with women in the workplace as the scandal began to envelop the paper’s globally ambitious parent company, Axel Springer.Bild, a center-right tabloid that has fed popular anger at Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Covid-19 restrictions, dismissed the editor in chief, Julian Reichelt, after The New York Times reported on details of Mr. Reichelt’s relationship with a trainee, who testified during an independent legal investigation that in 2018 he had summoned her to a hotel near the office for sex and asked her to keep a payment secret. Hours after Mr. Reichelt was ousted, the newsmagazine Der Spiegel published allegations that Mr. Reichelt had abused his position to pursue relat...