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Activision Blizzard says rise in misconduct reports last year due to greater scrutiny

Days after Kotick claimed company had no "systemic issue".

Collage of Activision Blizzard mascots
Image credit: Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard received 114 reports of harassment, discrimination or retaliation by its employees last year, with 29 of these being substantiated by investigators.

In the company's recently released transparency report, which was released into public domain following a request from stockholders (via Axios), Activision Blizzard stated it had taken over three dozen corrective actions as a result of these reports.

These corrective measures included terminating workers for a variety of offences such as using discriminatory language, engaging in physical assault, misgendering others, unwanted advances, retaliation. It also included two cases of non-consensual touching.

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The board noted that greater scrutiny of issues of misconduct can be attributed to this rise in reports, calling it a "sign of a healthy reporting culture and effective training".

"Even one instance of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation is one too many," Activision said in its document.

The news comes just days after Activision Blizzard's controversial boss Bobby Kotick claimed his company had never had a "systemic issue with harassment".

Activision "didn't have any of what were mischaracterisations reported in the media," Kotick claimed. "What we did have was a very aggressive labour movement working hard to try and destabilise the company."

He continued to blame "outside forces" for Activision's poor reputation, adding: "I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you if any of what you read in the inflammatory narrative was truthful."

The past few years have seen multiple sexual harassment allegations and lawsuits filed against the company.

Back in 2021, the State of California sued Activision Blizzard over what it called a "frat boy" culture within the company. Meanwhile, Kotick has repeatedly been accused of turning a blind eye to the issues.

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