Nintendo has internally promised an investigation into a new report that alleges a toxic workplace rife with sexual harassment within Nintendo of America.
The internal statement to employees by NoA president Doug Bowser was leaked by Kotaku following their own report and investigation on the troubles within the company. Bowser wrote, “We have strict policies designed to protect our employees and associates from inappropriate conduct and expect full compliance with these policies by all who work for or with us. We have and will always investigate any allegations we become aware of, and we are actively investigating these most recent claims.”
The report that sparked Bowser’s response saw Kotaku building on prior allegations of a divide between Nintendo’s full-time and contracted staff, and the conditions that these two groups faced. Kotaku’s report added to this stories from women who experienced sexual harassment while working as contracted game testers at Nintendo of America. Two managers in particular have been highlighted for their workplace misconduct and fostering a “frat house” culture.
That in turn enabled “commonplace” sexist behaviour, comments about female worker’s underwear, disturbing comments being made about young video game characters, pay disparity and general favouritism toward male contractors to potentially get “red badge” full time roles with the company.
And from that position of power, it meant that “If you were approached by a red badge, and they appeared to be making moves on you, [other women said that] you didn’t want to dissuade them too hard.”
Nintendo found itself in the spotlight for workplace practices earlier this year with the US NLRB opening an investigation into allegations of union-busting behaviour, specifically for firing employees that were trying to unionise. Shortly thereafter, people started to speak up about the workplace imbalance between full-time and contracted staff, which Bowser responded to by branding them “troubling” – he had previously condemned Activision Blizzard last year, branding the many emerging allegations as “distressing and disturbing”.
Given how reports and allegations are building up within Nintendo of America, we hope to hear of significant measures being taken soon.