Nintendo President Doug Bowser calls Activision Blizzard harassment reports “distressing and disturbing”

Doug Bowser said Activision Blizzard’s harassment reports contradict Nintendo’s values.

Image via Nintendo

Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser has joined the chorus of game industry leaders addressing the sexual abuse and harassment allegations at Activision Blizzard and holding the company accountable for them.

Bowser wrote in an internal email to his employees, as reported by Fanbyte, to discuss the ongoing reports of the toxic culture of misogyny and harassment over at Activision Blizzard. This all comes in the wake of the Wall Street Journal report published last week that alleged CEO Bobby Kotick knew about the abuse for years, participated in it himself, but hid that knowledge from his shareholders. The email was sent to all sectors of Nintendo of America, including in-house development teams like Retro Studios and Next-Level Games.

“Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company,” Bowser wrote. “I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values, and policies.”

The president also wrote that Nintendo has been “in contact with Activision Blizzard” and has taken action in light of the reports against them, but didn’t specify what actions were made, although it is exploring more options. However, he mentioned that Nintendo has been working with the ESA, of which it and Activision Blizzard are members, since last week to strengthen stances on sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace. He also mentioned that the governing body of gaming must hold every member accountable.

This report comes after Jim Ryan and Phil Spencer, heads of PlayStation and Xbox respectively, sent similar emails to their staff condemning Activision Blizzard for their poor response to claims made in the Wall Street Journal article, and for not doing enough to address its toxic company culture. In the past week, there has been a company walkout and petition calling for the resignation of Kotick, who said he’ll only leave Activision Blizzard if he doesn’t fix the company’s issues “with speed,” but didn’t give a specific timeframe at which to address them.