Nintendo of America faces sexual harassment allegations


Nintendo of America faces sexual harassment allegations

Over the past year, Nintendo has taken steps to improve the lives of its employees within its workspace. However, despite his best efforts, the misconduct still slips through the cracks. Earlier today, Kotaku released a disturbing report about the alleged mistreatment of female and LGBTQ temp testers at Nintendo of America. According to the report, former testers at the gaming company allegedly faced inappropriate physical and verbal behavior, as well as a “fraternity-like” work culture.

Nintendo primarily uses contractors for product testing. According reporting, 25% of employees at its North American headquarters were on contract. However, the number of testers would only be “about 10%”. Sources in the report noted that women on the testing teams “will be numbered in single digits.” Because of this disproportionate number of female testers, many former contractors have reported an alleged pay gap and harassment from full-time employees. These sources noted that alleged sexist behavior in the workplace was common and that “very little action has been taken to address it”.

One of the sources for the report, a former tester given the pseudonym of Hannah, recounted her experience working at Nintendo. Hannah witnessed alleged problematic sexual messages in an employee group chat and reported them to management at contracting company Aerotek. Much to Hannah’s disappointment, the employee responsible for the messages was only sent for sexual harassment training. She said that following the report, Aerotek management warned her “to be less forthright.”

The report went into adverse experiences from other anonymous sources, detailing alleged inappropriate encounters with high-ranking employees Melvin Forrest and Eric Bush. Employees like them would have used their superior status within the company to prevent female workers from filing complaints against them. Hannah also alleged that she struggled with inappropriate comments and unwanted advances in her working relationships with male colleagues due to her open lesbian status. These alleged comments made her so uncomfortable that she distanced herself from her male colleagues.

Sources also alleged that it was difficult for testers to find full-time jobs with Nintendo, with many noting that even after years with the company, nothing had changed. It is alleged that testers are prevented from advancing in a “revolving door of female talent”. The sources say management is indifferent to retaining them, with contractors having “no explicit goals or benchmarks to meet that could ensure a full-time conversion or even a contract renewal.”

“Nothing was based on metrics. It was things like, ‘You need to have more face-to-face time with this guy. I’m going to take you out to lunch, you know, with so-and-so. Make sure you talk stuff like that,” former tester Allison told Kotaku.. “Nothing that [was] specific work-related things. None of these tools have been provided to you.

It seems that no video game company is exempt from serious allegations like these. However, even with these horrific experiences, the report noted that many women still chose to work with Nintendo because of “the attachment to the Nintendo brand”. However, we are still a long way from an industry that fully accepts all identities.



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