Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick apologized for what he called the video game publisher’s “tone deaf” response to allegations of violating equal pay laws and sexual harassment.
According to a copy of the note sent to employees Tuesday and emailed to USA TODAY, Kotick said the company hired a law firm to investigate its policies and procedures to ensure Activision Blizzard promotes a “respectful and inclusive” workplace.
“Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf,” Kotick said. “It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.”
Last week, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard over violations of equal pay laws and fostering a “sexist culture” within the workplace.
Leaders within the company responded soon after in emails to employees, according to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, citing copies of the messages. Among them was a statement from executive Frances Townsend, calling the lawsuit “meritless.”
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The responses prompted an open letter from the company’s employees backing the lawsuit. “To put it clearly and…