Some IGN employees have refused to work today, following a former staffer’s allegations of sexual harassment at the publication. The content creators are standing in solidarity, until management issues an apology or statement.
Last week Kallie Plagge described an experience from 2016, where former editor Vince Ingenito harassed her and another female employee for months. As Waypoint reports, Plagge described the harassment as “uncomfortable compliments” (“Guys don’t like skinny girls. You’re perfect”), “manipulative and abusive comments” (“[The guys he assumed I was dating] are all boys. You need a real man), and “overtly sexual comments” (“When I was your age, I could go all night”). The latter was followed by a touch on the arm.
These incidents were reported to IGN’s human resources department and upper management, who allegedly told Plagge that she “needed to have better judgement about who [she] was ‘friends’ with.” Plagge added that they made her out to be an “equal participant.”
"I was made to sign a document stating that I'd behaved inappropriately, on the condition that I'd be fired if it happened again," Plagge shared. "I was forced to work with Vince for another six months until I left IGN for my current job."
“There won’t be a Daily Fix today because a large group of IGN employees have refused to work until the company issues a statement/apology regarding what happened to Kallie Plagge,” IGN producer Alanah Pearce shared on Twitter.
The content team also delivered a full statement. You can read it below:
[Note: Please know that this has been written by the IGN content team, not by management or legal or anyone else.]
To the gaming and entertainment community:
It is with great sadness, pain, and regret that we tell you that IGN has failed two of its female employees, one former and one current – both of whom the team cares deeply about. We are devastated that two of our own have had to live with and carry this pain for more than a year.
When the women made management and human resources aware of the situation involving a now-former employee, those women, in the estimation of the IGN team, did not get the respect and care that they deserved as IGN employees and as people. That system, plainly put, failed them. It especially failed them but it also failed all of us.
All of us have been wounded deeply by this – though again, our suffering is nothing compared to those of our two beloved friends – and this morning we addressed the open wound directly with our management team and human resources representative in an emotional, difficult, but ultimately productive two-hour meeting, where any and all voices were heard.
We care deeply about what we do, and we hope our passion for video games and entertainment shines through in our articles, videos, and podcasts every day. But we care even more deeply about each other, and we will continue to fight to make this right for the past, present, and certainly the future. Any future allegations will be taken extremely seriously, and we are actively working to ensure that everyone on our team feels like they work in a safe environment; we will not tolerate the exclusion or mistreatment of any people. The human resources representative who oversaw this situation originally is no longer with the company, and our current HR rep has been transparent and willing to listen to ideas and suggestions for how to create a better work environment going forward.
We are aware of the influence that IGN has in the gaming and entertainment community, and we will utilize that to the best of our abilities going forward. And we will continue to challenge our management and human resources teams to fix what is broken, because if we can’t or if we don’t, then IGN will no longer be a place we’re proud to call home – as content creators, entertainment consumers, and as gamers.
The IGN Team
IGN’s upper management has yet to issue a public statement.
[Update: 14/11/2017, 2:00PM NZDT]
IGN's general manager and executive vice president Mitch Galbraith sent an email to staff, regarding the allegations (via Kotaku):
Much of the understanding and progress we made as a group today is summarized in this post from our Content team. It is clear IGN can and must do better delivering on our commitment to a safe and harassment-free work environment for employees.
I am taking the following steps to ensure we achieve our goals. First, I will enlist an independent expert to thoroughly examine how we handled the matter in question and, more broadly, all other important aspects of creating a healthy workplace. Second, I will turn the findings and recommendations of that review into specific actions that I will share with all of you. I will be accountable to you for delivering results. Third, I will work to give HR a stronger presence throughout IGN, including outside the San Francisco office.
I’m not going to reiterate IGN’s committment to a safe and harassment free work environment. Instead I am going to work with all of you to prove it with our actions and results from here on out.