After the revelations about the severity of long-term sexual harassment and discrimination at Activision-Blizzard, some former senior men who have since left the company take turns speaking very publicly how terrible it all is and how sorry they are , now that they can no longer be held accountable. The newest is Diablo Co-Creator Chris Metzen, former Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development, who moved to Twitter.
consequence Mike Morhaime’s late night apology on Friday, Metzen posted on Twitter late on Sunday evening. tweet two pictures of text, declares that it is “later than it should have been”. He retired in 2016.
“We failed and I’m sorry,” he begins. “To all of you at Blizzard – those of you I know and those I have never met – I sincerely apologize for the role I played in a culture that promoted harassment, inequality and indifference.”
The role he played? The “privilege of not noticing” Rejected by some current and former Blizzard developers about whether or not those at the top really didn’t notice what was going on reads like repentant self-absolution at A-class level.
Metzen was very popular during his long stint at Blizzard as he was responsible for building some of the most popular games of all time, and his decision to go was eventually exposed due to serious mental health problems he experienced. Anxiety and panic attacks left him unable to continue and retired at the age of 42 to attend to his family, including a new baby.
His apology goes on to say that he has read many of the experiences of Activision Blizzard employees: “Friends and colleagues, people I have valued and admired for years, have been directly hurt because I was not there to ask, listen to hear those stories when it counts. “After admitting that he is struggling to reconcile his experiences and those of those who have suffered, he continues,” The yawning separation between my perception of above and the overwhelming reality that many of you have experienced fills me with deep shame. “
Metzen’s detailed apology then goes through the usual “I have a wife and daughters” segment of such things (“some of my best friends are women”) before offering some advice.
“It’s not enough just to say ‘I see you’ and ‘I hear’ when terrible things happen to women in the workplace. We need to be present and ready enough to ASK them about their daily experiences – and then do everything in our power to support them with the respect, dignity, and opportunities they deserve.
“More than making the conscious decision to act like this, we have to model this behavior in our fellow human beings consistently and thoughtfully, hold each other accountable (and be ready to be held accountable) and listen at every phase of the game.”
Metzen seems to mean very well by his apology, but I can imagine that those who worked at Activision-Blizzard during his decades of tenure would who addressed these issues aloud at the time, maybe not feel. Also, it’s not immediately clear how many of them can retire at 42 to spend more time with their families.