The year 2020 has seen case after case of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault, and more come to light, with more survivors coming forward about their experiences. That said, a letter from 2018 has come to light about inappropriate behavior at Rocksteady, who is now being accused of doing nothing.
The Guardian recently reported on the 2018 letter, which was signed by 10 of the then 16 female staff members at Rocksteady. The letter in question raised complaints about the behavior the staff members were subjected to, inlcuding "slurs regarding the transgendered community" and "discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues." The letter also includes a complaint about sexual harassment "in the form of unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman's body, and inappropriate comments in the office."
It is claimed that the 2018 letter only resulted in one training seminar at Rocksteady, with several of the signatories having left the company due to the inaction displayed by those in charge. One signatory, who requested anonymity, chose to share the letter with The Guardian "because she felt people were still suffering from sexism, harassment, and inappropriate behavior at Rocksteady."
"I have heard everything from groping claims to incidents involving [senior staff], all of whom are men," she said. "Yet the only thing we had as a result was a company-wide seminar that lasted an hour. Everyone who attended was asked to sign a statement confirming that they’d received the training. It felt that it was a just way for them to cover their arses." She also mentioned that the letter has been kept secret not just because the company loves their secrecy, but also partly because the staff members did not want to leave on bad terms out of fear that they wouldn't be credited for their work on the upcoming Suicide Squad game.
Since the report from The Guardian, senior script writer Kim MacAskill, who was also one of the longest serving writers at Rocksteady during that time, published a video in which she comes forward as the one who wrote that 2018 letter. She states that she left the company in 2019 and thought "things had improved" when she did, but is now learning that they haven't. MacAskill also backs up part of the report from The Guardian about how the overwhelming majority of the studio's employees are great people, and that it was a few who "weren't so good."
The report indicates that Rocksteady has recently called an all-staff meeting to discuss the letter. It is also understood that "new initiatives" have been promised to prevent this sort of behavior in the future. If any tangible action will come of this remains to be seen, but at the end of the day, the time to do better is now.
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What do you think about all of this? Do you believe that Rocksteady would have kept the letter secret if they cared about their employees and what they were claiming to be going through? Sound off over on our Twitter @PrimaGames.