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Report: Nintendo Of America President Says Activision's Harassment Stories Are 'Distressing And Disturbing'

Nintendo of America joins PlayStation and Xbox in condemning Activision's culture of 'sexual harassment and toxicity'

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Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser
Screenshot: YouTube

Activision’s self-serving response to historic allegations of abuse and misogyny in its workplace has been drawing a lot of criticism lately, from shareholders demanding the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick, to staff staging multiple walkouts. Now Nintendo of America has reportedly joined the chorus of those unhappy with the performance of Kotick and his board of directors.

As Fanbyte reports, an email sent to all Nintendo of America employees by president Doug Bowser last week addresses the situation, opening with:

Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company. I find these accounts distressing and disturbing, They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values and policies.

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The email then goes on to say that Nintendo staff have been “in contact with Activision, and “have taken action and are assessing others, with no specific mention made of what those actions are.

This follows similar company-wide emails sent last week by Xbox boss Phil Spencer:

“This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” Spencer wrote in the email, according to Bloomberg, saying he was “disturbed and deeply troubled” by the events and actions brought to light in a bombshell report by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week. The Xbox executive also said the console manufacturer would make “ongoing proactive adjustments” to its relationship with Activision Blizzard moving forward, but apparently did not go into any specifics.

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And PlayStation’s Jim Ryan:

The email—which Ryan likely wrote knowing it would be immediately leaked to press—has PlayStation’s chief expressing his severe disappointment in Activision’s response to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal revelations. Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports he has seen the email, quoting Ryan as saying he believes Activision “has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”

Apparently, PlayStation “outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern,” Ryan writes, “and to ask them how they plan to address the claims made in the article.” He continues, “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”

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Kotick reportedly told Blizzard executives last week that he would consider resigning the position he’s held since 2008, “if he can’t quickly fix the culture problems at the videogame giant. Culture problems that, it should be noted, he has had over a decade to address, and has at times even worked directly to protect from scrutiny and punishment.