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Fresh report alleges sexist workplace at Nintendo of America

UPDATE: Company now "actively investigating".

UPDATE 18/8/22: Nintendo has issued an internal response to yesterday's report which alleged sexual harassment within Nintendo of America.

The statement to employees comes from company boss Doug Bowser, and was leaked online by Kotaku. In it, Bowser says the company is now "actively investigating" yesterday's claims. The full statement follows.

"We have strict policies designed to protect our employees and associates from inappropriate conduct and expect full compliance with these policies by all who work for or with u," Bowser wrote. "We have and will always investigate any allegations we become aware of, and we are actively investigating these most recent claims."


ORIGINAL STORY 17/8/22: A report has detailed instances of sexual harassment at Nintendo of America, and a working environment where some women - particularly contract employees without full-time employment - felt pressured into silence.

The report, published by Kotaku, builds on allegations reported in the past about a divide between Nintendo's full-time and contracted staff, the latter of whom enjoy fewer perks and lack job security.

Now, women who worked as contract employees have come forward to discuss some of the issues they faced in particular, such as instances of sexual harassment and unequal pay.

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The report claims sexist behaviour was "commonplace", and that a culture of favouritism meant male contractors were seen as more likely to move on to "red badge" full-time roles.

At the same time, a number of women say they were being subjected to sexist comments, with criticism in particular levelled at the head of Nintendo's product testing department.

Several women separatedly noted instances where male staff were heard discussing the colour of female worker's underwear.

Others said it was felt necessary not to rock the boat and complain about inappropriate behaviour, or play nice with male colleagues making advances,

"If you were approached by a red badge, and they appeared to be making moves on you, [other women said that] you didn't want to dissuade them too hard."

Eurogamer has contacted Nintendo for comment.

Back in May, Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser labelled reports into how the company differentiated between full-time and contract staff in terms of benefits and inclusion as "troubling".

Bowser's predecessor, Reggie Fils-Aimé, distanced himself from the matter, and claimed the issues raised did not reflect the Nintendo which he left.

Since then, Nintendo has been hit by a series of worker complaints, as the games industry as a whole sees a wave of labour activism.

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Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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