Activision Blizzard has been in a firestorm of controversy these last few months due to allegations of widespread and persistent abuse against employees, and a recent report by The Wall Street Journal have only made matters worse for the company, with CEO Bobby Kotick being implicated in despicable actions. The report has also shed light on a number of other startling revelations- such as the departure of Blizzard Entertainment’s co-lead Jen Oneal.
Shortly after the company was first sued by California’s Department of Employment and Fair Housing in July earlier this year, Blizzard Entertainment’s president J. Allen Brack was let go, and was replaced by co-leads Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal. Just three months later, Oneal ended up stepping down and leaving the company as well, and WSJ’s aforementioned report claims that it was due to Oneal’s dissatisfaction with the company’s conduct and practices.
In an email sent by Oneal to Activision Blizzard’s legal department, she explained that she felt “it was clear that the company would never prioritize our people the right way”, which contributed to her departure. In other emails sent by her and seen by WSJ, Oneal, who had been sexually harassed herself during her years at the company, also “professed a lack of faith in Activision’s leadership to turn the culture around”, according to the report.
Oneal also wrote in an email, “I have been tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against.” Shockingly, the report reveals that she was actually being paid less than Ybarra, even though they both occupied the same position as co-leads of Blizzard Entertainment.
Not only were Activision Blizzard’s actions primarily performative then, they weren’t even properly performative.