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As in many work environments, the video game industry also has various problems that have been evidenced thanks to the rise in popularity of this form of entertainment and the advance in communications. This time, the sights are set on Activision Blizzard after it was revealed that a US government agency has launched an investigation into a case of racism and discrimination.
A few hours ago, Rod Breslau, an esports consultant, revealed that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an agency that handles cases of harassment, racism, violence and others in US work environments, launched an investigation into Activision Blizzard. According to the preliminary information, the EEOC sent an email to workers and former employees of the video game company to notify them of the investigation and invite them to share their stories in case they have been victims of some of the crimes mentioned.
today the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sent emails to current and former Activision Blizzard employees as it continues its investigation into allegations of discrimination at the company pic.twitter.com/i7lAvPhFY6
– Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 12, 2020
According to Brosleau, this investigation comes from a complaint made years ago by Julian Murillo-Cuellar, a former Activision Blizzard employee of Mexican origin, who joined the esports area of what was Blizzard Entertainment in 2016, specifically in the organization of tournaments of Hearthstone, and suffered racially motivated verbal assaults and emotional violence from Gemma Barreda, his partner.
According to Murillo-Cuellar, whose testimony can be read in this link, Gemma Barreda attacked him from the beginning of the employment relationship because of his Mexican origin, which he pointed out as a macho and did not stop insisting that the worker was the same as everyone else men in Mexico. The idea of this worker was based, according to the testimony, in that she « experienced the Mexican macho culture » when she was an exchange student in our country.
The situation went from constant jokes to verbal attacks and as Murillo-Cuellar recounted, this began to generate health problems that affected his work performance, because in addition to bearing the responsibility of the company’s esports area, he had to deal with the hostile environment that Gemma Barreda had formed from the idea that she was macho because she was Mexican.
The testimony refers that the problem escalated to such a degree that panic attacks became constant and the environment ended up collapsing his career at Blizzard, since he went from being on many occasions one of the most recognized workers, to not being taken into account given its poor results.
According to this former worker, in 2017 he approached the EEOC to discuss his case, but the agency at that time dismissed his situation, which led him to want to end his life. However, it seems that now that these types of complaints have already been taken into account in work environments, the agency decided to reopen the case and set its sights on Activision Blizzard.
So far, there is information on the investigation initiated by the EEOC and what may emerge through the official channels of Activision Blizzard in this regard is awaiting.
Stay informed, in LEVEL UP.