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Former Nintendo Tester Claims Culture Of Sexism And Harassment

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A contract employee at Nintendo of America (NoA) filed a complaint describing a corporate culture in which gender discrimination is pervasive. A new report from Kotaku details how multiple employees from the Nintendo WiiU era to the current Nintendo Switch generation experienced gender discrimination and harassment at the company.

An anonymous employee named “Hannah” informed Kotaku of an incident in which a male translator was making inappropriate sexual comments in explicit detail. In escalating the situation to Aerotek management, she was told not to speak too openly, and she was allegedly accused by a friend at work of hers for reporting the incident. Hannah further said she left her company only after translators continued to be employed and faced sexual harassment training as a backlash.

Nintendo uses several staffing agencies to recruit staff, one of which is Aerotek, which has since reorganized into Aston Carter.

According to Hannah, the translator was one of many experiences of the sexist culture at Nintendo. She and the other female employees felt uncomfortable hearing the employee’s jokes, but didn’t bring them up for fear of reprisal. loved […] we said nothing.

Several employees explicitly named product tester Melvin Forrest as someone who had an unpleasant experience, claiming he made inappropriate advances toward them.Former tester Chris Orris Associates warned each other to stay away from Forrest’s desk, and former tester Valerie Allison added that many felt they had to stay on Forrest’s good side.

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Image from the Nintendo Careers website.

“If you were friendly with him, you were more likely to come back sooner and less likely to be fired,” Allysion said. Mario Kart Double Dash!! When metroid prime, is currently unknown.

It’s been said that full-time Nintendo employees are often unsuitable for contractors. In one case, a senior tester allegedly stalked a prime contractor from summer 2011 until he was in February 2012. This tester called and texted her messages to her phone, and according to one witness she was said to be “disturbing”, causing the contractor to have frequent panic attacks and cry. at her desk. “He verbally said that if I reported it, he would fire me,” she told Kotaku.

Hannah and other contractors also gave examples of queerphobia while working at Nintendo. She was attacked by a backup coordinator and expressed dismay upon learning that she was a lesbian. Asked.

Another queer employee was reprimanded by Aerotek for holding hands with a female tester he was dating at the time during his lunch break. She said she violated the company’s “no-touch policy,” but she claims she didn’t get the same warning when heterosexual couples display affection in public. did.

Issues with Nintendo and Aston Carter’s NLRB

Recently, Aerotek (now Aston Carter) was specifically mentioned in two worker complaints to the National Labor Relations Board. In both complaints, Aston Carter and her NoA were accused by unnamed employees of retaliating against contractors who tried to discuss wages, and fired employees for attempting to unionize. .

In 2021, following reports of sexism and harassment at Activision Blizzard, Nintendo’s Doug Bowser criticized the company’s actions. “I find these accounts painful and disturbing. I am writing to you by email.

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Multiple contractors have also notified Kotaku about alleged contractor wage inequality. He said he was making $16 an hour. It wasn’t until she pursued a pay raise for several weeks that she reached $18 per hour.

A former Nintendo product tester argued that the odds of transitioning from contract to full-time employment are slim for female employees. . “They’re usually all friends. They watch the Super Bowl together.”

Alison once asked an Aerotek manager how she could be promoted to full-time, and the answers she provided were more about connections than employee output. “It was like, ‘I’ve got to see this guy more. I’m going to invite him to lunch, whoever he is.’ There was nothing specific work-related.”

One unnamed contractor who tested Nintendo 3DS and Wii U titles said working for Nintendo was “a lot of favourites, nepotism. Because if women were doing well, they were friends with the right people.” It was assumed.”

Former Nintendo Tester The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Remaining with the company, she said, her various experiences there showed her that her loyalty to the company could only go so far. I was. “And remember that if you don’t feel like doing something, someone else will want your place.”

Comments from Nintendo of America contractors remind us that the gaming industry still has ways to create a better working environment for employees of all kinds. This summer has been full of stories of success in forming unions and studios that claim to have closed the pay gap. But it’s clear there’s still work to be done, especially for the industry’s biggest publishers.

The game developer has reached out to Nintendo for comment and will update this story when the company responds.