In just the span of several weeks sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein have begun to spiral out of control. The harassment of employees in the public work space has often been a point of debate with one side ignoring any reports of sexual harassment. The Weinstein incident has caused many people on social media to come clean and share their tale of sexual harassment mostly coming from Hollywood but today the gaming industry also joins the ever growing list. One such notable reveal came from Naughty Dog employee David Ballard. Former Environmental and Multiplayer Level Layout Artist, David Ballard has revealed his side of the story.
Noting that once the sexual harassment began, his work environment at Naughty Dog became unbearable. Hoping to get some support from his HR department at PlayStation, Ballard claims that upon his report he was fired from the studio the next day. Adding insult to injury, Ballard alleges that he was also offered money in order to keep Ballard silent.
They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. 4/
— David G. Ballard (@DBal) October 14, 2017
The artist hasn’t been able to find work since being fired. It seems that Naughty Dog and Sony will have some serious explaining to do if these claims are proven true. We will keep you updated as the story continues. For the full transcript scroll to the text below.
In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward. In February 2016 I had a mental breakdown at work & Sony Playstation HR became involved. When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day. They cited the company was moving in a different direction and my job was no longer needed.
They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. I declined to sign. I have been unemployed for 17 months since. When interviewers ask why I left Naughty Dog, I say I was burned out by the crunch, ashamed to get to the root of the problem of being sexually harassed.
I’m speaking out now because of the strength I’ve seen in others coming forward about their experiences in the TV/Film industry. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I will not let anyone kill my drive or love for the video game industry, my passions or life.