Activision Blizzard shareholders vote to publish annual abuse, harassment, and discrimination report

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Activision Blizzard shareholders have voted to approve a proposal that the company should publish an annual report detailing the effectiveness and outcomes of its efforts to prevent abuse, harassment, and discrimination in its workplace – a non-binding vote Activision has, as yet, only said it will “carefully consider”.


The proposal, originally raised by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in February, requested that Activision publically release an annual report detailing several key metrics: the total number of pending sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination complaints the company is seeking to resolve through internal processes or ligation; details of the company’s progress toward reducing the average time it takes to resolve sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination complaints; the amount of money it has spent settling disputes related to sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination, and finally pay and hours worked consolidated data.


While this kind of transparency might seem prudent given the shocking allegations that have surfaced in relation to Activision Blizzard’s workplace practices over the last year, and given that the publisher remains embroiled in a number of lawsuits relating to those practices – including last July’s State of California filing, which called the company a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women” – the company’s board of directors instead wrote to shareholders in May unanimously urging them to vote against the proposal.


At the time, it argued a transparent annual report wasn’t “in the best interests of the Company or its shareholders” and that “rather than diverting energy and resources toward creating yet another report, we should continue to directly respond to employee concerns.”


This is, of course, the same Activision Blizzard that last week announced it had investigated itself and decided there was “no widespread harassment, or systemic harassment” at the company. It also insisted there was “no evidence to suggest that Activision Blizzard senior executives ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported”, despite a damning Wall Street Journal report in November claiming Bobby Kotick had been aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct and mistreatment of female employees across many parts of the company “for years”.


Despite a majority of Activision Blizzard shareholders having now voted to approve the release of an annual abuse, harassment, and discrimination report (as detailed by The Washington Post), Activision has not yet agreed to do so. Instead, in a statement shared with Kotaku, it noted the vote was “non-binding” and said it would “carefully consider the proposal to enhance our future disclosures.”


“Activision Blizzard remains deeply committed to a respectful, welcoming workplace for all colleagues,” it added.


Tuesday’s annual meeting vote also saw a majority of shareholders approve the election of 10 directors to Activision Blizzard’s board – including the re-election of CEO Bobby Kotick – despite efforts to oust current board members by a small group of shareholders. Additionally, a proposal to put an employee representative, selected by non-management employees, on the board, was rejected by shareholders.

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