A number of people in the games industry have been accused of sexual abuse, assault and rape over the last few days. This has included two current Ubisoft employees, a Logitech employee and a reemerging accusation against the director of agency PR company HomeRunPR.
While we are not covering the details of the abuse in detail, be aware that following the links below will take you to some harrowing accounts of sexual assault. We appreciate the strength and courage of victims coming forward to name their abusers, and first and foremost wish to state our support for them.
The two Ubisoft employees are Brand Marketing Manager Andriend Gbinigie and Associate Director of Public Relations Stone Chin.
Gbingie has been accused of rape after using his industry connections as leverage with then industry newcomer Kate Johnston. Her account details persistent pressure from someone she considered a friend to meet up, but culminated in sexual assault in 2014. You can find her account below.
My experience with sexual assault (TW: rape)
— Kate J. 🏳️🌈 #BlackLivesMatter (@KateNV_) June 22, 2020
Her claims have been backed up by other people in the industry, including former Yogscast employee Hannah Rutherford, who stated she had heard from other women who claim they had been targeted, similarly Meghna Jayanth, another victim Cher, and former Ubisoft developer Jason Paradise, who brought the accusations to the attention of Ubisoft management at the time, but says, they did not follow them up.
In a post on Medium, since removed from the site for violating its rule, Gbinigie wrote, “I am writing this to categorically and vehemently deny the allegation of rape leveled against me by Kathryn Johnston.” He has also denied the allegations on Twitter.
Following this account, further allegations emerged, with Community and Influencer Manager for Save the Children US John Sylvester accusing Associate Director of Public Relations Stone Chin and Creator Relations at Logitech Alex Monney of being “sexual predators”. Again, there are dozens of comments backing up their accounts, such as Nutaku’s Jay Acevedo.
Screen Rant reached out to Ubisoft for a comment, the publisher saying, “We are deeply concerned by these accusations. We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking very closely into the allegations to determine next steps.”
Finally for this post, allegations of harassment from HomeRun PR Director Damien Sarrazin have reemerged from 2018. Sarrazin has denied these allegations and stated that he is pursuing legal action for defamation.
We endeavour to take these matters seriously at TSA and will be keeping an eye on all of these cases, we will not support those who abuse others and will always stand by those affected by the abuse.
Update: Amended wording to clarify the severity of each accusation and our stance going forward.
Update 24/06/20: Our original story stated that we would be cutting ties with HomeRun PR. For the time being at least, that will not be the case. As we’re continuing to grow as a site, we need to be sure we’re equipped to deal with larger-scale issues beyond those simply affecting games themselves. As such, we realise the need to establish a formal policy on how we handle our reporting of such allegations, and our interactions with publishers, developers and PR implicated by them.
via Screen Rant