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Former Naughty Dog Employee Says He Was Sexually Harassed

PSLS: "Former Naughty Dog Environment Artist and Multiplayer Level Layout Artist David Ballard has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment. Ballard says that the incident occurred in late 2015, and that his working environment became increasingly toxic due to the harasser being a lead. According to Ballard, when he went to the Sony PlayStation human resources department in February 2016 (after suffering from a mental breakdown), he was fired the next day. Ballard says he was then offered $20,000 to stay quiet about the ordeal, but he declined the offer."

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AspiringProGenji62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

It is pretty rare to hear a man saying he is/was being sexually harassed lol, but anyways that is just horrible! He should have sued

UCForce62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

Yes, it does. Next week, he will have list of them.

Cupid_Viper_362d ago (Edited 62d ago )

A Very disgusting act that should have been resolved on the spot. Sexual assault, time to get the cops involved and file the appropriate charges and let justice be served. If guilty, then serve the time.

Sexual assault is soooo common still, and it happens to both sexes although not at the same rate. From men forcing themselves onto women/men, stealthing, etc, to women tricking men into getting them pregnant and getting them on the hook for child support or to prevent them from leaving a relationship.

I think it's about time that we get to the bottom of this as a society. I am now watching Sony very closely to see how they handle this situation.

Eonjay62d ago

Okay so while I agree, its always hard to prove so its hard for us to say that someone should be fired because they are accused. The problem is that if this happened once, it probably happened again and thats where we go after HR if they ignored it. There is this huge problem where powerful people can do crap like this and get away from it when there are people in power who can stop it.

ElementX62d ago

@Cupid, there's a difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault. This wasn't assault.

Cupid_Viper_362d ago

@ElementX

You sir, are correct. And I stand corrected.

There is no place in our society for sexual harassment or assault.

I don't have the tolerance for either of them.

psyxon62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

There's a difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment. This article/story has nothing to do with the former. Anyway, why is he just coming forward now? Is this the new trend, because the famous celebs are doing it? Not trying to be a dick, but it's nearly impossible to prove the validity of the claim, so at this point it's basically he said, (s)he said Hopefully it works out for him, though. Too many people act like sexual harassment is something men don't also have to deal with.

morganfell62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

Yeah let's burn Naughty Dog at the stake...why wait for evidence?

What Ballard states may very well be true, but I do not think we should be frying people in oil until there is some proof.

Has no one heard of the Duke Lacrosse Case? Based on just an accusation, the DA Mike Nifong was on TV in short order promising to boil the suspects alive. The justice system along with the court of public opinion proceeded to ruin the lives of 3 college students and trash the entire lacrosse team. They were pracitcally convicted the day they were arrested. Even though all of it was later proved to be a lie, the DA was removed from office, and monetary compensation was awarded, time isn't something one can simply return. Some opportunities passed the accused forever.

As I said, Ballard's accusations may prove to be 100% accurate. After all, no one has ever falsely accused a former employer of wrongdoing, right? No one ever attempted to capitalize on current affairs. But whether his remarks are true or not is immaterial. Due process is the right of every person associated with the charges.

strifeblade62d ago

wow, sony offering 20k to keep quiet, and we champion sony as the saviour of gaming when they are complicent for sexual harassment. Thats disgusting

Cupid_Viper_362d ago (Edited 62d ago )

@ morganfell

There is a lot of wisdom in your words and as you cited there have been plenty of cases of people being falsely accused of horrible acts and in turn have had their lives/careers ruined.

So just to be clear, I'm not advocating that anyone jump to conclusions before getting all the facts. What I am advocating though is that we all be more aware of these acts and not turn a blind eye to them if/when we confront them in our lives. As a society, we shouldn't be burning anyone at the stake without the factual evidence of wrongdoing. At the same time, it is equally important that we allow the people who've been victimized, a safe place to report these acts.

The current state of affairs creates an environment where this is what we get as a result. Either people are presuming that the accused is guilty before all the fact, because they feel that otherwise nothing will be done about it. And the pushback to that is that people will judge the accuser a liar because they think they're in it because it is what is trendy right now, or to get back at a company/someone for something in the past. So both sides tend to get overzealous and overprotective. And pretty soon the whole situation becomes and 'us vs them' type of thing.

I really do believe that a big reason why we so often have these outcomes is because we haven't really HONESTLY discussed the topic. it's 2017 and you'd be surprised at how prevalent sexual harassment/assault is, and at the percentage of people who think that women are the only victims. If we (as a people) can't even get the basic nature of the issue hand, then we (as a people) haven't really discussed it enough.

EeJLP-62d ago

Everyone jumping to conclusions, already know who's guilty and innocent, who's telling the truth or making up stories, dumb.

InMyOpinion61d ago

Maybe it was his own fault for dressing like a slut?

morganfell61d ago

@Cupid,

You referred to the matter as a disgusting act. That is stating it occurred. Instead it is a matter that should have been investigated and resolved properly one way or the other. And I mean properly. Often times if something does indeed occur, certain persons want to blame the employer and the atmosphere (that's where the money is after all) and sometimes this is the case. Businesses can create a situation where such harmful and offensive acts may not necessarily be condoned but are certainly overlooked.

But often times you just have the issue of a lone individual acting out within an otherwise healthy work environment. Or no one did anything at all and it is simply a case of a fired employee seeking retribution at any cost. One of the remarks people have made about ND is the situation there and what a wonderful place it is to work. The lone exception is the publicized disagreement between Amy Hennig and the Druckmann and that was simply a matter of a creative and directional disagreement where someone did not get what they want and left. And it turns out in the opinion of most gamers that it was good for the Uncharted story line Hennig did not get her way.

You also said you are watching Sony closely to see how they handle this. Those are the words of someone that feels Sony needs to step in and make amends, make things right because you have decided their is guilt on the part of Sony and Naughty Dog.

Perhaps in retrospect you realize that you jumped the gun. That is great. But that initial post clearly, in your words, has ND and Sony responsible for some wrong doing.

SoulMikeY61d ago

Cupid, this isn’t sony’s Problem or responsibility. This new mentality of people that have nothing to do with it getting involved is long overdue to be done. This is strictly and solely on ND to handle. They, just like Bungie/ Microsoft in the past, are a partner to Sony, not owned.

morganfell61d ago

"wow, sony offering 20k to keep quiet, and we champion sony as the saviour of gaming when they are complicent for sexual harassment. Thats disgusting"

Wow, convicting the accused with absolutely zero evidence when we live in a society of innocent until proven guilt. Glad you are not in charge of the Justice System. That's disgusting.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 61d ago
Ghost_of_Tsushima62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

“Former Naughty Dog Employee Says He Was Sexually Harassed”

“Sony offered him $20,000 after being fired and to keep quite about the situation”

This industry is screwed.

UCForce62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

Yeah, this is bad. And it will get worse. Hopefully, he will sue them to get his career back.

Eonjay62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

I don't get why he didn't already sue. If he was really offered 20k and he denied, then obviously thats should be his next step. Why did he not sue already? It sounds like a severance package they tried offering him with the stipulation that he couldn't talk about the job or firing (which isn't unheard of). What we need to find out is what happened to the lead? I would like to think he was fired or punished. Usually in cases like this, harassment isn't a one time thing and if HR heard about this before or after and he is still there that is a problem.

ziggurcat62d ago

@eonjay:

... assuming he was harassed by another male employee...

naruga62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

probably a man harrassed this guy .....as i dont think he would be so upset from womans flirt (i cant call harassment any women erotic action toward men)....i somewhat believe the guy (and what a ridiculous excistence of a man is the assaulter ) as ND has became so megalomaniac gaming giant /prick , that probably finding a job in there they even ask to F u ....i want to bring the name of the assaulter in the surface and be ridiculed

psyxon62d ago

Lets not jump the gun and start demonizing the industry over something that, at this time, is hearsay. In saying the industry is screwed, you're insulting people who would have gladly spoken out for this guy had they known the situation. He kept it to himself. He made that decision. It sucks that he felt he had to do that, but that's the reality.

spreadlove62d ago

naruga,

both men and women are capable of sexual harassment. Some people think it is impossible for a male to be raped, but that is not true either.

Eonjay62d ago

@ziggurcat
Wow you are right. I had no idea that I said he. It is true that whenever we talk about sexual harassment we suddenly go after men. This is a form of bigotry itself in face value and it is part of our culture. Hell,assuming his story is true is undue judgement, but we recognize the seriousness of the charge. We can still demand Sony's full attention and withhold assumptions. I think that is the only real approach here.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 61d ago
-Foxtrot62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

Maybe I'm being blind but does it say who it was by?

Man or woman

Kind of funny how Neil toots his horn about sexism and the like but completely "missed" this situation, a serious issue towards his own gender.

UCForce62d ago

We will find out soon enough.

-Foxtrot62d ago Show
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psyxon62d ago

Assuming this guy is telling the truth, yeah, I guess.

VideoGamesAreDumb62d ago

"a serious issue towards his own gender"

Hi there. Serious question, do you have a soul?

NG1234561d ago

Exactly! Neil is probably the culprit himself, used his authority to take advantage of him.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 61d ago
bluefox75562d ago

I'm sure it happens far more than is reported. I imagine most guys are afraid they won't be taken seriously if they come out with it.

Kribwalker62d ago

wow, classy guys. deflecting and making jokes about someone that has a mental breakdown and becomes unemployed for over a year and a half because they were a victim.....stay classy guys

filius62d ago

You must not be good looking and very cynical to say that and then have the audacity to laugh about it.

AspiringProGenji62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

Just like rarely anyone would take a man getting harassed seriously, but yeah I'm ugly and cynical. Thanks Society! Btw if Sony and ND didn't work this out and the guy got fired the that was horrible on their part like I said. Now what the guy said may have two sides like any argument, so I just leave it to him to do something about it. However after two years he hasn't done something or sued Sony or ND then I don't know...

AspiringProGenji62d ago

It is not funny but that is how men harassment is taken most of the times. Like I said, he should sue, but if in two years he hasn’t done anything then it may be too late

Xenophon_York62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

AspiringProGenji—

As someone who has suffered from the mental stresses of the work place and sexual harassment I find it insulting to read your comment with an "lol," because it is a mortifying experience. If it happened to you I thoroughly doubt you'd laugh about it in any regard.

While you may not have meant anything by it you should wholeheartedly think before you comment about delicate issues such as these.

Such a shame to read about this happening at Naughty Dog.

AspiringProGenji62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

My sincere apologies for the “lol” part. like you said, that wasn’t needed. It is just something that rarely happens or gets exposed but like I said it is still horrible and something should have been done about it already

Mr-Dude62d ago

If these allegations are true, its terrible business practice to sweep it under the rug and attempt to silence the victim. However if these are unfounded, the ex-dev may have landed himself in very very hot water. I would hope that he has evidence to bring to a court, if either party decides to do so, because openly naming companies can lead to slander.
Since no official comments have been made nor surface of evidence, we should not blame anyone for anything.

Ceaser985736161d ago

Don't know what to make of this because sexual harassment laws are the most misused on planet Earth.
But it is still a very serious crime that does happen a lot.
Hope ND take action against the harasser if it is proven true.
This will affect their games if courts are involved.

trumpwonstopcrying61d ago

Maybe the name "naughty dog" is based on how they harass people at work.

Did Harvey Weinstein work here too?

pinkcrocodile7561d ago

did you put a "lol" in reference to male sexual harassment?

That's like putting a "rofl" in reference to people leaping to their deaths when the twin towers came down.

Not funny.

Mr-Dude61d ago

Naught Dog has released a statement

"We have recently read on social media that an ex-employee of Naughty Dog, Dave Ballard, claims he was sexually harassed when he worked at Naughty Dog. We have not found any evidence of having received allegations from Mr. Ballard that he was harassed in any way at Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment. Harassment and inappropriate conduct have no place at Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment. We have taken and always will take reports of sexual harassment and other workplace grievances very seriously. We value every single person who works at Naughty Dog and Sony interactive Entertainment. It is of utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe, productive workplace environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making games."

https://www.naughtydog.com/...

Ashunderfire8661d ago

Terry Cruz was gropped In front of his wife by an executive! So it is not that rare to hear a man complain of being sexually harassed.

TheRandomOne61d ago

Terry Crews was a victim in Hollywood

subtenko61d ago

so how is that funny then (lol)?

lxeasy61d ago

I am very disappointed in Sony for try to silence him

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UCForce62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

"Sigh" This issues really need to address from ND and Sony. Jesus Christ ! This make me angry.

Septic62d ago

Disgraceful of Sony and ND

Razzer61d ago (Edited 61d ago )

lol....what? So you are just buying every word of this? This guy is telling 100% truth and ND and Sony are just "disgraceful". Let's not consider the possibility that this is just a disgruntled fired employee.....nah.

andrewsquall61d ago

@Razzer Well what the hell did you expect from Septic lol? If this was about Sony charging a lot for an expansion/ DLC but refusing to do loot boxes he would say the exact same thing.

Septic61d ago

Disgraceful of Sony and ND *If true*

Y'all happy now?

freshslicepizza61d ago

When can we expect a response from Sony and/or Naughty Dog?

Razzer61d ago (Edited 61d ago )

"We have recently read on social media that an ex-employee of Naughty Dog, Dave Ballard, claims he was sexually harassed when he worked at Naughty Dog. We have not found any evidence of having received allegations from Mr. Ballard that he was harassed in any way at Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment. Harassment and inappropriate conduct have no place at Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment. We have taken and always will take reports of sexual harassment and other workplace grievances very seriously. We value every single person who works at Naughty Dog and Sony interactive Entertainment. It is of utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe, productive workplace environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making games."

https://www.naughtydog.com/...

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 61d ago
freshslicepizza62d ago ShowReplies(9)
StifflerK62d ago

Just been reading about this on twitter - it's bad enough he was harassed , but what HR did was just as bad.

I hope he gets his career back on track, also I hope the harasser + the person who handled the case at HR gets what's coming to them.

rainslacker62d ago

If he was actually fired for reporting the harassment, then very likely the person in HR didn't make that call. I agree that if that's the case that everyone who made that decision should be disciplined appropriately, up to and including studio leads and execs.

However, the fact that Sony HR had to get involved, seemingly due to the breakdown, means that the reasons for letting him go may be more on him for doing something he shouldn't have which would cause an uncomfortable situation at the dev....which wouldn't be unheard of in a breakdown situation. There is nothing in the quote which indicates that Sony HR or ND knew anything about the harassment before the breakdown, and it seems his assumption is that them letting him go is due to him bringing the accusation, when it's possible that it was due to some inappropriate outburst due to the breakdown.

SirJoJo62d ago

internet lawyer right here prople☝🏽
Jheez you're really serious about this white knighting for Sony aren't you.
Things like this happen to individuals far to often and nothing is said and it is precisely because of individuals like yourself why people tend to keep it to themselves.

pinkcrocodile7561d ago

You should work for Fox News. You're unscrupulous,, willing to muddy the waters with no evidence what so ever and even manipulate the fact to suggest it's the victims fault.

It's like telling the public that it's a women's own fault that she was raped while insisting she MUST NEVER abort the baby because it's unchristian.

Simple this to take from you comment,

A. You're full of sh1t.
B. Wait until this goes to court and the facts come out.
C. Calm down the give the victim all the public support we can.

61d ago
Xenophon_York62d ago

Rainslacker—

Willing to guarantee you hit the nail on the head. Every sexual harassment scenario I've witnessed usually gets wrapped up in something else. This helps the company have at least one other issue to shamelessly shift attention. Anything to discredit such a negative media event as sexual harassment—especially with these big corporations.

Darklink2862d ago

HR's job, literally, is to protect the company. They do not care about employees. What HR did is despicable but that's what HR does all the time. Literally HR did its job, which makes it all the more depressing.

KTF2662d ago

if it's true
then what HR did wasn't as bad it was worst

RommyReigns61d ago

HR are scum (not just the Sony HR team in this case, HR in general).

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 61d ago
Miss_Weeboo62d ago

It's horrible. If they offered him money is even worse. I hope you have something to say about all this Naughty/Sony. Do something about it or even deny it (and then prove it), but you can't just ignore this.

Black0ut61d ago

If they did indeed offer him 20k to be silenced then thats just as criminal as the assault.

Disgusting if true.