Ex Naughty Dog developer alleges sexual harrassment

Doris Richards
October 17, 2017

A former Naughty Dog employee has accused the game developer of sexual harassment.

Naughty Dog, the developer of video game franchises such as Uncharted and The Last of Us, has responded to the former employee's claims, further widening the spotlight on a shockingly widespread issue. He said that he suffered a mental breakdown at work in February 2016, and when he told the human resources department of Naughty Dog parent company Sony Interactive Entertainment, he was sacked the very next day.

"They cited the company was moving in a different direction and my job was no longer needed", Ballard said, adding that he was offered $20,000 from HR if he signed a document agreeing to the layoff and that he would not speak about the terms to anyone. 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.

As the movie industry deals with the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, more people are coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment against their superiors.

Naughty Dog released a statement yesterday pertaining to sexual harassment in the workplace.

This article will be removed soon! Ex-employee David Ballard reports that he suffered sexual abuse in the Naughty Dog workplace. He also claimed Sony's HR fired him for his allegations, later offering him a $20K bribe to stay quiet.

Using his Facebook and Twitter accounts on Friday night, Ballard wrote that in late 2015 he was sexually harassed while at Naughty Dog by a lead, an incident that led to his work environment becoming extremely toxic. He chose to come forward after other Hollywood actors shared their stories about sexual harassment, and after some video game personalities such as David Hayter stepped forward about his own experience with sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. The full statement was posted to Naughty Dog's official website.

Ballard's profile on LinkedIn lists him as an environmental artist for Naughty Dog From 2009 to 2014; following a nine-month stint with Ubisoft he returned to Naughty Dog in 2016 as a multiplayer level designer. The studio acknowledges the need to create safe workspaces for all employees, but refutes the claims Ballard makes but stating that they have no record of any such incident being reported.

It's hard just from these two isolated news bursts to know for sure whether Ballard's statement is true, and Naughty Dog's own statement does little to clear the air. "I will not let anyone kill my drive or love for the video game industry, my passions or life", Ballard said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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