Rocksteady Studios is under scrutiny for sexual harassment in the workplace. Reports say that women at the studio signed a letter condemning the practice.
According to reports, female members complained of sexual harassment two years ago. The management at Rocksteady Studios tried to solve this with a one-hour seminar allegedly. A publicized letter in 2018 further details the horror the women experienced.
Rocksteady tried to remedy situation with a seminar
A sorry image of Rocksteady’s internal culture came out into the limelight with a letter. In it, signatories detail a pattern of misogynistic harassment across the company. These behaviors include unwanted advances and groping from male employees.
There are also a ton of inappropriate comments that come out in the workplace. “Slurs regarding the [transgender] community” are also common events. What digs further, however, is the management’s response.
As “resolution,” Rocksteady reportedly used a one-hour seminar for members. Most likely, this seminar was among the many cookie-cutter sensitivity seminars out there. Furthermore, a member who remains anonymous in the report claims that nothing changed after.
The signatory of the letter further pointed out the company’s output. Many released games like the Arkham titles show hypersexualized female characters. While this isn’t uncommon in comic books, it harkens to a problem the franchise had.
Even from before, the Arkham games have pointed, gender-charged insults to its women. Male NPCs have lines that belittle the female characters, especially Catwoman. Even then, these detail received handwaving and died off.
Rocksteady situation may be similar to Ubisoft
London-based dev Rocksteady Studios has a lot to answer from the letter. The complaint got the signature of 10 out of their 16 female employees in November 2018.
The details about “leering at parts of a woman’s body” dip heavily into harassment. “Discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues” is also reminiscent of Ubisoft.
Ubisoft got into a storm of controversy over top-to-bottom sexual assault allegations. The company got bombed with sexual harassment complaints that started from their CCO Serge Hascoet. Subsequently, the entire debacle resulted in the removal of many top Ubisoft officials.
Ubisoft axed Serge Hascoet for allegations of misconduct. Furthermore, they fired their VP, Global HR, and the Creative Director for AC: Valhalla. The company is reeling at the moment and restructuring its process.
According to the same reports, Rocksteady called for an all-staff meeting to discuss the letter. Management promised new initiatives that will improve the current situation.
It is for everyone to see if Rocksteady Studios follows up. The MeToo movement allowed for the toxic culture to float up. It shows that, no matter how companies try, they’ll likely need to do more for inclusivity.
Featured image courtesy of Batman Arkham/YouTube Screenshot