The LA Times investigates Riot Games’ ‘boys’ club’ sexism problem, ESPN reports Riot staff ‘departures’

    
35
Dragon Age.

If League of Legends company Riot Games thought that the Rockstar crunch conversation was going to eclipse Riot’s sexism predicament, it can give up on that dream. Both the LA Times and ESPN ran articles this week covering the accusations of sexism and sexual harassment at the company, originally exposed in August by Kotaku.

The LA Times says it interviewed 10 former and current Riot employees, who said “they experienced double standards, glass ceilings or sexual harassment” and “found their careers stymied and ideas dismissed.” Interviewees described the company as a “boys’ club” where those who stuck up for diversity initiatives “have found themselves targeted by online mobs and out of a job soon after.”

“All current and former employees who spoke with The Times describe a workplace where women were regularly talked over or ignored. When some women argued their points of view in meetings, they were labeled hysterical or simply excluded from future meetings and promotion opportunities, while men were promoted for the same behavior, the employees said. Two women said they experienced professional retaliation for asking pointed questions in Q&A sessions with senior managers. […] Three of the employees confirmed Kotaku’s report of sophomoric and sexualized behavior in the workplace, including a running gag that involved male co-workers smacking one another’s genitals.”

The Times also includes an interview with Dr Frances Frei, whom Riot previously brought in as a consultant to advise on solving these specific corporate culture problems. It further highlights the fact that Riot brought in law firm Seyfarth Shaw, though it does not mention the firm’s reputation for union-busting.

ESPN’s shorter piece focuses on the esports division’s acknowledgment of the sexism issues; in fact, it quotes Riot spokesperson Joe Hixson, who said there have been departures – ESPN’s word – “at all levels of the company” in the wake of the investigation but apparently declined to elaborate for the publication.

More on the Riot scandal:

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Rheem Octuris

They need to name names or things will never change.

Reader
Brother Maynard

“Investigates”? A newspaper? Oh, the puritanist zeal across the ocean will never cease to amaze me…

Reader
Sally Bowls

7/10: you may wish to point out that the LA Times is owned by someone who owns LoL competitors. (e.g. H1Z1/DBG/Soon-Shiong)

Reader
Brother Maynard

That is an interesting piece of information!

Line
Reader
Line

Yes, investigative journalism is a hallmark of a functional democracy, and the reason why the free press is so important.

You may note that it is pretty relevant in today’s world, after the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government and the support of president Donald “the media are the enemy of the people” Trump.

Reader
Brother Maynard

Nice way to jump from a very specific context to wide-sweeping statements. You clearly got what I was referring to…

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
TomTurtle

I hope Riot is making a good effort to fix these issues. I can only guess as to what’s going on since this all broke out into the public.

Reader
Witches

This is a mistake, they were doing us a favour by hoarding the most toxic assholes, now they are going pollute gaming in general, as if it wasn’t bad enough already.

UpayaBlossom
Reader
UpayaBlossom

I… I am strongly swayed by this argument. Bravo.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Heh, that’s one way to turn lemons into lemonade. :)

Reader
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Riot sounds like a cesspool of a work environment. So glad League never caught on with me.

Also, people are the worst. We’re so awful. It takes zero effort to be awful. Put some effort in and treat others well. I’m terrible at it too, but man.

Treat people with courtesy at all times.

Reader
Joe Pacinelli

Nothing is as black and white as the media makes it out to be. I know a few people who work there and while they acknowledge there’s an issue from what they’ve seen or heard, they are fine if not happy working in the company. These are not all males either.

But yes I absolutely agree, we need to treat each other with more courtesy.

Reader
Sorenthaz

I won’t be surprised if this never gets up on the LoL subreddit since they’re trying to keep drama to a minimum while Worlds is going on.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

Bwahahaha, what rock do these idiots live under to be offended by guys “Cup checking” each other?!?!?!

That shit is beyond common with male friends & guys fucking with each other stretches back to the dawn of humanity … Now if they were Cup checking women, that would be a diffrent issue!

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
DeadlyAccurate

What if a guy doesn’t want other guys grabbing his junk? Shouldn’t he be allowed to work in an environment free from sexual harassment?

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

It isn’t sexual – it is hitting a guy’s balls so they hurt while everyone else laughs.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
DeadlyAccurate

Is that supposed to make it sound better?

Reader
Connor

Exactly, it’s not sexual. It’s just criminal battery.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

And it has absolutely no place in the work environment.

Reader
Utakata

Yes, some behavioral practices of frat houses that shouldn’t be all allowed to even be practiced at frat houses. Just saying.

Reader
Utakata

Edit/Erratum: …shouldn’t be at* all allowed to…proper.

Reader
Crowe

I’m 47. If someone tried cup checking me, I’d consider it assault. (however, my response would still be to do my level best to deck him)

Reader
Tee Parsley

Well, I always prefer to give a warning first, you know. ‘Cut that shit out! Not cool. Next time there’ll be trouble….’

And if there is a next time, I’d consider it an invitation to practice my joint locking technique.

Reader
Bryan Correll

I’m also 47 (really.) If some guy smacked me in the junk for a laugh I probably would just go ahead and tell him the joke about the punk that got his ass knocked on the ground.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

If you’re gonna reach over and cup check me, you’d better be up for finishing damn it.

Reader
Bruno Brito

I’m not your friend, i’m your coworker.

You don’t touch people’s genitals on work, unless you’re a pornstar or prostitute.

Period.

Reader
Bryan Correll

Could we also have an exception for medical professionals?

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

No way, we talk about some raunchy tasteless stuff at work behind the Nurses Station but punching people in the balls and disrespecting women would not fly at all.

Reader
Rheem Octuris

I think they meant touching genitalia part for medical professionals when necessary or indicated.

I have had at least 6 people touch my genitalia for medical reasons. Most of those were catheter related.

Reader
Bryan Correll

That is what I meant.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

Not for nothing but if some ever punched me in the balls under any circumstances other than an S&M Scene I’d have to send a message that would earn some one credibility on a cell block.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

This is what a hostile work
Environment with sexual
Harrasment looks like, as opposed to ANet a few months ago when the gaming industry started turning on MO and the players that frequent Reddit.