UPDATE 18/8/22: Nintendo has issued an internal response to yesterday’s report alleging sexual harassment within Nintendo of America.
The statement to employees comes from company chief Doug Bowser and was leaked online by Kotaku. In it, Bowser says the company is “actively investigating” yesterday’s claims. The full statement follows.
“We have a strict policy designed to protect our employees and associates from inappropriate behavior, and we expect full adherence to this policy by anyone who works for or with you,” Bowser wrote. “We have and will always investigate all allegations of which we are aware, and we are actively investigating these most recent claims.”
ORIGINAL STORY 17/8/22: A report detailed cases of sexual harassment at Nintendo of America and a work environment where some women — particularly contract workers without full-time employment — felt pressured to remain silent.
The report, published by Kotaku, builds on allegations reported in the past about a gap between Nintendo’s full-time and contract staff, the latter of whom enjoy fewer benefits and lack job security.
Now, women who worked as contract workers have come forward to discuss some of the issues they faced in particular, such as cases of sexual harassment and unequal pay.
The report claims that sexist behavior was “mundane” and that a culture of favoritism meant male contractors were more likely to move up to full-time “red badge” positions.
At the same time, a number of women say they have been subjected to sexist remarks, most notably criticizing the head of Nintendo’s product testing department.
Several women separately noted cases where male staff were heard about the color of female employees’ underwear.
Others said it was necessary not to shake the boat and complain about inappropriate behavior, or be nice to male colleagues who made advances,
“If you were approached by a red badge and they seemed to make moves on you, [other women said that] you didn’t want to advise them too hard.”
Eurogamer has contacted Nintendo for comment.
In May, Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser labeled reports of how the company differentiated between full-time and contract workers in terms of benefits and inclusion as “disturbing”.
Bowser’s predecessor, Reggie Fils-Aimé, distanced himself from the matter, claiming the issues raised did not match the Nintendo he left.
Since then, Nintendo has been hit with a series of complaints from employees as the gaming industry as a whole sees a wave of labor activism.