Here’s Activision Blizzard’s full statement below:
Activision Blizzard is committed to inclusive recruitment practices and creating a diverse workforce; It is essential for our mission. A deputy deputy completely misrepresented the SEC file provided by our outside lawyers. Indeed, our recruitment practices are rooted in ensuring diversity for all roles. We engage in this aggressively and successfully. Our objection was rooted in the fact that the AFL-CIO proposal failed to adequately consider how these practices would apply in all the countries in which we operate.
Our games have uniquely influenced popular culture and helped increase tolerance and inclusion through their connection as well as the heroes we portray and our stories that celebrate diversity, fairness and inclusion in many powerful ways.
In order to ensure that our games remain true to our mission – to connect with and engage the world through epic entertainment – we request that all candidates from all backgrounds, races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations be considered for each open role. We employ aggressively diverse candidates with a workforce providing the inspiring creativity needed to meet the expectations of 400 million players in 190 countries. We remain committed to increasing diversity at all levels throughout Activision Blizzard around the world.
The original story: A new report finds Activision Blizzard is resistant to adopting a hiring practice requiring the company to interview at least one eligible candidate or minority candidate. Activision Blizzard, through its lawyers, described this practice as “impractical”.
In a new report from ViceThe AFL-CIO, the largest labor union in the United States, has submitted a shareholder proposal to Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts (EA) asking it to adopt a recruitment policy that requires each company to include women and people of color in its initial pool of potential candidates.
AFL-CIO is a shareholder of both Activision Blizzard and EA, and the letter request has been sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).The proposal is modeled after the Rooney base in the National Football League. The rule was adopted in 2003, requiring NFL teams to interview at least one non-white candidate for a coaching position. VICE reported that the base was subsequently expanded to include women and other marginalized candidates.
Activision, A company with more than 9000 employees The makers of some of the biggest games like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands are said to have been outraged by the suggestion. It has taken action to absolve itself by claiming that these guidelines are exempt from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s guidelines for shareholder proposals.
Moreover, a letter from Activision, obtained by Motherboard claims, “while the company implemented the Rooney Rule policy as envisioned.” [for director and CEO nominees]”, Implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an impractical override of the company’s ability to manage its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive and fast-moving market.”
Activision claims that this proposal violates SEC guidelines as a shareholder’s way of “micromanaging” the company. In a statement to VICE, EA said it will “consider a shareholder proposal” with its board of directors.
It should be noted that these suggestions are not legally binding. However, what they ultimately do is highlight the problems and clear the way for the company to address them. But Activision appears to be completely ahead of these discussions.
Matt TM Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter @LawofTD.