The notion that video games is a male-centric industry created a culture of sexism and resulted in a number of studios being sued for bad behavior.
Riot Games and its male employees were also accused by female employees of assault, sexism and a toxic work culture and a new lawsuit was filed stating that this behavior went to the top.
A lot has changed in terms of video game industry demographics and more women want to be a part of the industry, but it seems that some of the men don’t want to let women in or if they do they treat them unfairly.
The lawsuit filed against CEO Nicolo Laurent by a former Riot Games employee alleges a pattern of inappropriate comments and sexual advances that eventually led to her resignation in July 2020.
Sharon O’Donnell, was Laurent’s senior assistant from 2017-2020. After rejecting Mr. Laurent’s unsolicited sexual advances, O’Donnell reached out to the Riot Games Human Resources department, the department being accused in the lawsuit of doing nothing to address the harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace to stop.
O’Donnell’s allegations coincide with those of a number of women who are discriminated against or harassed while working in the gaming industry. Riot Games is not an outlier here as other companies have also faced discrimination lawsuits.
While the company denies Ms. O’Donnell’s allegations at this point, Riot Games’ poor history of female employees and the persistent rumors of a toxic work culture certainly lend Ms. O’Donnell’s claims more plausibility and credibility.