The Name ‘Naughty’ Dog Gets Taken to New Levels of Serious
Reports of sexual harassment on the part of developer Naughty Dog recently surfaced on Twitter. An ex-employee alleged that he was harassed in the workplace, and the developer has since responded.
Here’s a brief summary of what happened. Ex-employee David Ballard reports that he suffered sexual abuse in the Naughty Dog workplace. This was back in 2015; but, he claims he lacked the courage to make it public until he saw similar stories pop up on social media. According to him, the abuse was followed by a cover-up, the context of which you can find below:
In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward. 1/
— David Ballard (@DBal) October 14, 2017
After subsequently reporting abuse to Sony HR, Ballard claims he was fired the next day. Apparently, his job was “no longer needed.” But to keep him quiet, the company offered a termination package of $20,000. Ballard declined.
With Ballard’s statements floating around social media, the developer eventually caught wind of the allegations and offered an official response:
“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.”
At the time of this writing, there were no further communications between Ballard, Sony, or the studio.