In a report from the Guardian, reveals half of the women employed at Rocksteady signed a letter two years ago about the company’s sexual harassment and toxic work environment. Now Rocksteady responds to the harassment allegations.
The letter dates back to November 2018; this is where 10 women, out of a total of 16 at the time, wrote to the heads of the studio about the culture. They detailed to the executives about hearing “slurs regarding the transgendered community,” “discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues,” and dealing with harassment “in the form of unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman’s body, and inappropriate comments in the office.” One woman who spoke anonymously to the Guardian went into detail about how male coworkers would be surprised when given pushback against sexualized character designs, like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in the Batman Arkham trilogy.
Once contacted by the Guardian, the studio had a meeting regarding the letter. A spokesperson delivered this response,
“In 2018 we received a letter from some of our female employees expressing concerns they had at that time, and we immediately took firm measures to address the matters that were raised,” a spokesperson said. “Over the subsequent two years, we have carefully listened to and learned from our employees, working to ensure every person on the team feels supported. In 2020 we are more passionate than ever to continue to develop our inclusive culture, and we are determined to stand up for all of our staff.”
An undisclosed amount of the women who signed this letter have left the London-based developer due to a lack of changes. Since they wrote to their bosses, a one-hour long seminar was the only action taken with no other moves to create a more inclusive and safe environment for its employees.
The women who spoke out against the company’s male-dominated culture remained anonymous, mostly to not deal with repercussions like losing credits on the upcoming Suicide Squad game that is in development.
The anonymous woman speaking to the Guardian told the British newspaper about the majority of her coworkers, saying that about “97%-98% of the developers there are incredible people” and that its “unfair that this will land on them because a few people weren’t managed properly.”
She also goes into the positive outcome of speaking out against these issues within the workplace.
“I think a good outcome [of publicizing the letter] is basically showing the games industry in general [that] no matter how big your company is, how much you promote it as supportive of diversity, if you keep putting your head in the sand you will eventually be outed,” the woman said.
Rocksteady is currently gearing up to unveil its mysterious Suicide Squad game on August 22 at DC FanDome.