Announced via their Blog, the game studio known for world-renowned titles such as Crash Bandicoot, The Last of Us and The Uncharted series, addressed the issue brought up by an ex-employee who claims he was sexually harassed while working at Naughty Dog.
Naughty Dog, the developer of The Last of Us and Uncharted franchises, has acknowledged, while disputing, allegations of sexual harassment made by a designer this weekend on social media. He says he declined this offer.
"My work environment became extremely toxic afterward", Ballard said, adding that the alleged harassment took place in late 2015.
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Ballard said he suffered a mental breakdown at work in February 2016, at which point Sony PlayStation HR became involved. "When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day", Ballard tweeted.
They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone.
As the movie industry deals with the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, more people are coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment against their superiors.
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Cyberpunk 2077 is progressing as planned, but we are taking our time-in this case, silence is the cost of making a great game . Every role-playing game we ever developed seemed impossible to achieve at the moment we set out to create it ...
Ballad said he chose to speak out now because of the strength shown by those coming forth about sexual harassment issues in the film and television industry, most recently spurred by allegations against movie executive Harvey Weinstein. This is the hardest thing I've ever done.
Ballards claims follow a week of allegations of sexual harassment against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who was sacked from the company he founded. The studio acknowledges the need to create safe workspaces for all employees, but refutes the claims Ballard makes but stating that they have no record of any such incident being reported. Ballard, who refused to sign, has now been out of work for 17 months, and when he was interviewed on the circumstances of his departure from Naughty Dog, he has been ashamed to say that he was sexually harassed, instead saying that he simply burned out. Dozens of reports have also been flowing in from other actresses and even actors in Hollywood sharing though own stories of harassment they endured from Hollywood higher-ups. However, it doesn't appear as if the industry will take Naughty Dog to task for also relying on evidence to prove the substantiation of Ballard's case. Ballard might have just blown the lid off some bad behaviour at one of the biggest games studios in the world, and there's likely to be more to this story soon.
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