Ex-Suicide Squad dev refuses reward for sexual harassment

Four members of the Suicide Squad wait in confusion.

Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Kim MacAskill, a writer whose career includes work on the next Rocksteady game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, was recently nominated for a life achievement award by the non-profit organization Women in Games. However, she recently took to Twitter to announce that she cannot in good conscience accept the award, as Rocksteady Studios and its parent company, Warner Bros. Interactive, are among the sponsors of the event. MacAskill said Rocksteady and Warner Bros. failed to adequately address the rampant harassment and sexism she and other female employees allegedly experienced at the studio. “Stop enabling bad behavior,” MacAskill wrote. “You can throw your name on every diversity event going on. But unless you take responsibility, it means nothing and I see you.

In August 2020, The Guardian published a roadblock report on accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the studio behind the Batman: Arkham series. History has revealed that in 2018, more than half of Rocksteady’s female staff signed a letter who attempted to draw the attention of leaders to issues, in which they claimed they had to endure unwanted advances from their colleagues, “ogling at parts of a woman’s body and [making] inappropriate comments in the office”, among others.

In a video from August 2020, MacAskill claimed that HR and senior management discouraged her from sending the letter. She said she was pushed aside and told, “To continue [taking action] would potentially jeopardize my position within the company…and my position to be hired by other companies in the future, as I could be seen as a troublemaker,” she said. . “It was like choosing between my dream job and my dignity.” She thinks Rocksteady let her contract expire in retaliation.

Solid as a rock acknowledged the claims after they were reported in the news. The official Twitter account posted: “All official complaints have been thoroughly investigated, dealt with appropriately and a number of serious actions have been taken in response to the issues that have been raised, including discipline or dismissal of staff.” The studio also said it has engaged an independent third-party entity that employees can use to confidentially report any issues they wish to raise. Kotaku has contacted Warner Bros, but has not received a response as of press time.

Kotaku reached out to MacAskill to ask for the company’s response to his tweet. She said she contacted Warner Bros. to refuse the award and that she wanted to resolve the situation. The editor told him it was not open for discussion.

“All I want is an apology, and last week I even asked for it. I half begged. I just want it resolved, but not like this,” wrote MacAskill, who mentioned that the studio had offered him money, and to restore his credit on suicide squad. “Not with money. How does something change that way? Somehow in 2022 an apology still costs Warner too much [Bros.] and Rocksteady to support.

She is adamant about rejecting the Women in Games award. “Receiving a prize linked to [Rocksteady] would be a tacit acceptance of what they did.