Four Fired Over Game Studio Racism Allegations

Four of the staffers at the centre of some serious racism allegations at San Francisco developer KIXEYE have been fired, studio boss Will Harbin has announced.

Harbin told Kotaku yesterday that he was taking " substantial corrective action", which he's elaborated on today, revealing that "the manager of the team in question" and "three other employees" have been terminated after they'd found to have "violated company standards".

He goes on to say that these "few bad apples weren't living up to the standards that the rest of us have set for our company", and that he has "taken steps to provide harassment training to the other members of the team, given the poor example set by their manager".

In addition to this and the recent implementation of a "sensitivity training program", Harbin also says that KIXEYE is in the process of securing an "outside, independent investigation of the allegations made by the contractor to ensure we have all the facts and take whatever continued, appropriate action is necessary to prevent this kind of behaviour from occurring again."

You can read the complete statement below.

I'd like to elaborate on the statement I made yesterday. The facts: in a blog post, a former contractor who was here this Summer made allegations of racial discrimination against KIXEYE. I first learned of this at the same time most of you did - via twitter yesterday early afternoon.

Immediately after I learned of these allegations, I personally interviewed members of the team to figure out what this was about. While it's clear that not everything in the blog post was accurate, I did discover examples of embarrassing behaviour that I find inappropriate for KIXEYE, or any other work environment. As a result, I immediately terminated the manager of the team in question and then three other employees who violated company standards as well. We have also taken steps to provide harassment training to the other members of the team, given the poor example set by their manager. I am doing my best to create a company where our employees love to work, with a culture of openness and tolerance to different points of view, styles, races, gender, orientation, religion and cultures. It turns out that a few bad apples weren't living up to the standards that the rest of us have set for our company.

What are we doing to make sure this never happens again in the future? Well, even before this incident, we hired a VP of HR who has implemented a sensitivity training program for all employees. He's also introduced processes that have strengthened communication channels between management and the employee base. We've also started conducting regular anonymous, company-wide surveys in which we gather and have taken action on feedback, complaints and rumours. Finally, we are in the process of conducting an outside, independent investigation of the allegations made by the contractor to ensure we have all the facts and take whatever continued, appropriate action is necessary to prevent this kind of behaviour from occurring again.

Will Harbin [Twitter]


Comments

    Apparently that manager was also dressed like a thug.... geddit???

    Shame these concerns were not raised with management internally. Would be terrible to find out via Twitter.

    Ergh. Disgusting. Black people using the racism card for personal gain only makes the nword still relevant. If an employee came into/started dressing like a thug/gangster whose image portrays that murder, rape , drugs and crime in general is cool and makes you a big man, I would have the conversation and if nothing came of it I would fire him without batting an eyelid.

    There is a huge fucking difference between 'black culture' and 'gangster culture', its utterly pathetic and wrong that the 'hurrrr dats rassiss' card gets played and they get away with it, both black and white culture and society are impacted negatively by a massive amount.

    What's worse? A racist or a person who is involved in or thinks murder,rape,drugs and crime is cool?

      You're a fucking moron on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin.

      What's disgusting mate, is your view on the matter in question. What you're toying with is the concept of reverse racism and suggesting that people who dress a certain way insinuates that they share a likeness to a murderer/rapist/druggie or criminal.

      Can i ask you one thing.......What the hell is the appropriate attire for a murderer/rapist/druggie or criminal? It doesn't matter what your response is because there is no such thing, any response from the aforementioned question is unjust, there is no right answer.

      In future i suggest you open your eyes and look at the bigger picture here, there is no space in this world for racisim and people in business who allude to racist remarks are just, no matter how mild it may be are simply setting back developed nations who are made up a majority of forward thinkers.

        So your saying that the vast majority of music and lifestyle that ties in with the whole gangster/thug thing isn't heavily themed on murder, rape, drugs and theft? Would you like for me to provide some samples? Would you like some statistics on how black people make up only around 10% of the total US population yet are responsible for over 60% of violent crime? You cant link the two, really??

        To answer your question on how a murderer/rapist/druggie dresses is the exact same as the individual in question. If you cant see that you are apart of the social cancer that will one day consume this planet.

          Have you ever worn pre-faded jeans? It doesn't really matter because my point is that the current trends in fashion definitely don't follow the ethos of their origin. Same here with any 'thuggish' clothing.

          But really you had to say:
          "Would you like for me to provide some samples? Would you like some statistics on how black people make up only around 10% of the total US population yet are responsible for over 60% of violent crime? You cant link the two, really??"

          Really man, re-read that. In fact re-read it several times and just try and I mean really try to understand what you're saying and why people just might disagree with your opinions.

            I really hate these "omg that's racist" types of people...

          "Would you like some statistics on how black people make up only around 10% of the total US population yet are responsible for over 60% of violent crime? You cant link the two, really??"

          Because those African Americans and other minorities have been historically discriminated against and often unable to rise to the middle class, instead forced to live in low-rent housing ghettos. Low standards of living will always propagate crime, we see exactly the same thing in Australia with poorer suburbs full of white people accounting for most of the crime. It's not because they're white, now is it? It's because they're poor and in a terrible situation that society hasn't bothered to improve.

          You realise that sociopaths dress like everyone else, even you? They also have your same lack of empathy to other humans and anti-social behaviour. See where I'm going here?

          Besides, numbers, statistics and carefully picked examples can say anything you want them to. I suppose it's probably escaped your notice that America has a black President. I suppose Barack's gonna go on a shooting spree sometime, do hard drugs and get involved in a smash and grab. Would you be ok with me calling you "cracker", and making passing comments about how "Whitey's thinking he owns the planet again."? It's ok right? I'm just being racist and not out murdering or raping.

      hahaha you're the worst.

      I apolergise fer me sun. His mamma an I r bruther and sistur and I hurd that can give yer brain the diereea.

    A small point - the headline says fired over allegations. I would hope that's not the case.

    Reading the article it seems they've been fired because they've been *found* to have misbehaved.

    Procedural justice is important.

    Carry on.

      "Finally, we are in the process of conducting an outside, independent investigation of the allegations made by the contractor to ensure we have all the facts and take whatever continued, appropriate action is necessary to prevent this kind of behaviour from occurring again"
      Something is amiss - treated as allegations, yet the people were fired.
      I also have an issue with someone accusing people of racism while espousing racist stereotypes... in a public forum.
      I'm in no way defending the manager etc - just that the person making the allegations has made quite a statement as to what they deem as "appropriate racial language".

        " I personally interviewed members of the team to figure out what this was about. While it’s clear that not everything in the blog post was accurate, I did discover examples of embarrassing behaviour that I find inappropriate for KIXEYE, or any other work environment. As a result, I immediately terminated the manager of the team in question and then three other employees who violated company standards as well. "

        Is the quote that you missed.

    Right or wrong this guys days at this company are numbered. No one wants to work with a snitch.

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