New Report Provides Details on Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination at Nintendo of America

New Report Provides Details on Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination at Nintendo of America

New Report Provides Details on Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination at Nintendo of America

Nintendo is known for its family-friendly image and game that people of all ages can enjoy. But a report from Kotaku paints the picture of a company not so different from other gaming giants previously accused of fostering a “frat boy” work culture. The publication spoke to several female game testers who told how they were harassed by colleagues and paid less than their male counterparts.

One of the Kotakus key sources is a former game tester named Hannah, who is reportedly less outspoken after reporting the inappropriate behavior of a full-time Nintendo employee in a workplace group chat. The employee reportedly posted a copy of a Reddit post explaining why Vaporeon was the best Pokémon to have sex with and justifying why it was okay to be sexually attracted to Paimon, a Genshin impact NPC with a childlike appearance.

Hannah, who was a contractor, also found that she was paid $3 less than a junior male tester and struggled to get her contract agency to agree to a raise. As a queer worker, she was subjected to inappropriate comments from male colleagues whose advances she had also rejected. “Oh, you’re a lesbian. That’s a bit sad,” a considerably older colleague told her shortly after she started working at the company.

Hannah’s experiences are similar to many of the other female testers Kotaku interviewed had gone through. Some of them talked about how Melvin Forrest, a product testing leader at Nintendo of America, “went after all the associated girls” and often commented on their weight and appearance. They said Forrest was in charge of scheduling contractors and who gets to return after a project, so female testers were forced to get along with him. Another contractor was stalked for months by a more experienced tester, but the well-connected assailant threatened to have her fired if she turned him in.

A common complaint among the sources was the lack of career opportunities. “Your chance [of being converted to full time] was probably worse as a girl. It’s mostly boys [who get promoted]. They are usually all friends. They watch the Super Bowl together,” a product tester who collaborated on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild said.

As Kotaku notes that one of the main reasons these problems persist is that women are underrepresented in the company. Sources believe that the percentage of female contractors testing games for Nintendo is only about 10 percent, and it’s not often that they are transitioned into full-time employees. The company’s data also shows that female employees make up only about 37 percent of all full-time employees at Nintendo of America.

While the gaming giant did not respond to Kotakus questions, company chief Doug Bowser previously addressed reports of Activision Blizzard’s sexist “frat boy” culture in an internal memo. “I have been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard with all of you and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company. I find these accounts disturbing and disturbing. They go against my values ​​and Nintendo’s beliefs, values ​​and policies,” he said.

The testers who spoke to the publication for this particular report are just a few contractors who recently decided to speak out against the company. Two former employees even filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Nintendo of America of retaliation, surveillance and coercion. We’ve reached out to the company for a statement and we’ll update this story if we hear anything.

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