The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) is investigating video game developer Ubisoft for claims of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. TAFEP's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it received anonymous feedback in late July which contained links to media articles concerning claims of workplace harassment and unfair treatment at the company. Individuals with knowledge of any criminal conduct such as sexual harassment and assault should report such incidents immediately to the police.
The allegations against Ubisoft came to light last month when they were reported by video game news site Kotaku, which interviewed more than 20 current and former employees. According to Kotaku, its Singapore operations experienced issues such as sexual harassment, bullying by managers and racial pay disparities. Several current and former employees also claimed that HR was unhelpful when it concerned other complaints. For example, it reportedly swept complaints of sexual harassment under the rug, Kotaku said. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.
Ubisoft is popularly known for developing games such as Assasin's Creed, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, and Just Dance. According to ST, Darryl Long, Ubisoft Singapore's MD, addressed these allegations during a press conference held earlier this month, explaining that the company needs to begin changing the way it is viewed and how it acts internally also. Ubisoft has also allegedly brought on board a third-party agency to deal with the complaints, ST said, adding that the company "has taken concrete action" to officially decide on how misconduct will be handled.
At the same time, Ubisoft has also vowed to increase gender diversity and offer management opportunities to more women, as part of the government initiative known as Singapore Women In Tech, ST said quoting Long. According to him, women comprise about half of Ubisoft's leadership and these initiatives are undertaken to "create a safe workspace". He also stressed that harassment, discrimination and misconduct of any kind are not tolerated at Ubisoft. Meanwhile, the company also told ST that it is investing in helping Singaporean staff take on leadership opportunities and creating a learning path for them.
The company was embroiled in a lawsuit filed last month by French workers union Solidaires Informatiques and two former employees, multiple media outlets reported. The lawsuit alleged that Ubisoft reportedly "enabled a culture of institutional sexual harassment" and that it was easier for the company to "tolerate misconduct than to address problems".
The French video game developer, however, is not the only one to have been accused of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. In July, Activision Blizzard, the developer behind Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, was sued in California for reportedly subjecting multiple female staff to gender discrimination, unequal pay and sexual harassment, CNN reported.
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