UPDATE 8/18/22: Nintendo has issued an internal response to yesterday’s report alleging sexual harassment within Nintendo of America.
The statement to employees comes from company boss Doug Bowser and was leaked online by Kotaku. In it, Bowser says the company is now “actively investigating” yesterday’s claims. The full statement follows.
“We have strict policies designed to protect our employees and associates from inappropriate conduct and we expect full compliance with these policies by everyone who works for or with you,” Bowser wrote. “We have investigated and will always investigate any allegations that come to our attention, and we are actively looking into these most recent claims.”
ORIGINAL STORY 8/17/22: A report has detailed instances of sexual harassment at Nintendo of America and a work environment in which some women, particularly outsourced employees without full-time employment, felt pressured into silence.
The report published by Kotakuit builds on allegations reported in the past about a split between Nintendo’s full-time and contract staff, the latter of whom enjoy fewer benefits and lack job security.
Now, women who worked as contract workers have come forward to discuss some of the issues they faced in particular, such as cases of sexual harassment and unequal pay.
The report claims that sexist behavior was “common”, and that a culture of favoritism meant male contractors were seen as more likely to move into full-time “red badge” roles.
At the same time, several women say they were being subjected to sexist comments, with criticism in particular directed at the head of Nintendo’s product testing department.
Several women separately noted instances where male staff were overheard discussing the color of female workers’ underwear.
Others said it was deemed necessary not to rock the boat and complain about inappropriate behavior, or play nice with male colleagues who make advances,
“If you are approached by a red plate and it appears to be moving towards you, [other women said that] You didn’t want to dissuade them too much.”
Eurogamer has contacted Nintendo for comment.
In May, Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser called reports about how the company differentiated between full-time and contract staff in terms of benefits and inclusion as “worrying“.
Bowser’s predecessor, Reggie Fils-Aimé, distanced himself from the matterand stated that the issues raised did not reflect the Nintendo he left.
Since then, Nintendo has been hit by a series of worker complaintsas the games industry as a whole sees a wave of labor activism.
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