Yesterday (Oct 14th, 2017), former Naughty Dog employee David Ballard tweeted allegations of sexual harassment suffered from a team lead. He also claimed Sony’s HR fired him for his allegations, later offering him a $20K bribe to stay quiet.
Not waiting until Monday, Naughty Dog has come forward with an official statement regarding the claims. It’s a positive to see ND reacting quickly, but the wording is mostly a denial of any abuse.
We have recently read on social media that an ex-employee of Naughty Dog, Dave Ballard, claims he was sexually harassed when he worked at Naughty Dog. We have not found any evidence of having received allegations from Mr. Ballard that he was harassed in any way at Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment. Harassment and inappropriate conduct have no place at Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment. We have taken and always will take reports of sexual harassment and other workplace grievances very seriously. We value every single person who works at Naughty Dog and Sony interactive Entertainment. It is of utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe, productive workplace environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making games.
ND states harassment has no place at theirs or Sony’s studios, and also claims they take these reports very seriously. But the overall tone seems dismissive of the matter. It takes the side of the event not happening, rather than them investigating further.
I don’t expect or want a knee-jerk reaction, but their press release seems quite closed to the idea of pursuing the truth of the matter beyond checking their records.
This could have a ripple effect on others speaking out in the future. We’ll keep you posted on the story as it happens.
How do you feel about Naughty Dog’s response?