Rocksteady Studios is firing back on the recent sexual harassment allegations within the company. The studio shares an unsolicited employee letter in response.
Yesterday, a report came out that talks about alleged misogyny and harassment within Rocksteady Studios. The report comes from a letter given to management in 2018. The letter has the signature of 10 out of 16 women working for them at the time.
Now, Rocksteady released a letter with 7 out of 10 of the original signatories. The unsolicited letter alleges that Rocksteady did more than a one-hour seminar.
Former Rocksteady senior writer made the letter public
In the original report, an anonymous woman shared the original 2018 letter. She was among the signatories and believed that, even after two years, nothing changed. She eventually revealed herself as Kim MacAskill through a YouTube video.
Kim MacAskill was among the senior writers of Rocksteady at the time. She revealed in the video that she authored the original letter. MacAskill notes she worked with the women after seeing the sexist behavior in their workplace.
“I started this letter because I was experiencing sexism with one particular individual, still in the company,” MacAskill noted in the video. “I found a female crying in the bathroom because a man who, despite her telling him not to, was groping her repeatedly, sending her messages in the evening, and when he was drunk he would start to fabricate stories that he was in fact sleeping with her to other colleagues.”
This prompted MacAskill to ask around the company. She notes that the other employee received neither concern nor meaningful action.
“I expected maybe one or two of the women would say, well actually I’ve experienced this too,” she further noted. “Every one of them, every single one of them, except one—one didn’t—the rest had.”
Rocksteady releases “unsolicited” letter from original signatories
Now, Rocksteady Studios released an “unsolicited” letter they received. It contradicts MacAskill’s claim that they only gave an hour of seminar.
While working on our response to the recent news, we received the following unsolicited letter. pic.twitter.com/sozmsp6u3C
— Rocksteady Studios (@RocksteadyGames) August 19, 2020
“Recently an article was posted in the Guardian regarding this letter which was sent to the studio heads and HR in 2018, in addition to multiple other accusations,” says the new letter. “In this article, we feel that the anonymous source or sources attempted to speak on behalf of all women at Rocksteady, and we do not feel that this article is a fair representation of us, the events at the time or since the  letter was received.”
“Continued efforts have been made to ensure that we have a voice within our work and within the studio, ranging from involvement specifically with how our characters are represented to workshops to help build self-confidence within male-dominated industries. Throughout all of this, a firm promise has been made that there is always an open forum for us to speak out and that issues would be addressed with seriousness.”
The letter notes that the reveal of the letter is undesirable. They note that “it was kept private for personal reasons to all involved, not due to industry secrecy.”
In taking @RocksteadyGames 's response, I just want to add that I am whole heartedly apologetic to any female involved that feels their privacy was infringed. For me, it was important to speak. We all signed it, the stories ARE true and they take no accountability.
— Kim MacAskill (@kimmacaskill1) August 19, 2020
MacAskill apologized through a tweet to “any female involved that feels their privacy was infringed.” MacAskill neither revealed names nor called out people in public. Rocksteady Studios is yet to release an official response apart from the letter.
Featured image courtesy of Batman Arkham/YouTube Screenshot