New Report Alleges Female Nintendo Contractors Were Sexually Harassed

A new report from Kotaku alleges that Nintendo of America and Aerotek, a staffing company it frequently works with to hire contractors, subjected female contractors to discriminatory behavior, often stifling their advancement in the workplace and allowing the sexual harassment occurs without control.

The report alleges that Nintendo of America, especially its testing department, operates as a “frat house,” where female and gay contractors are frequently subjected to harassment and inappropriate conduct by full-time male employees, whom they , according to the report, are known internally as “red badges”. A tester named Hannah (an alias to provide anonymity) alleges that one of those “red badges” was invited to a comedy channel on Microsoft Teams, where they then proceeded to share memes that sexualized a child character from Genshin Impact, as well as Pokemon. This incident is reportedly just one of many that occurred during Hannah’s time at Nintendo.

Another female contractor shared that she was harassed by a senior evaluator. According to the report, a manager at Nintendo of America viewed the contractors as a “dating group.” One anecdote, which was corroborated by other sources, alleged that a high-ranking employee directed another to inquire about the color of a female contractor’s underwear at a gala sponsored by Nintendo of America.

Other associates warned female contractors to keep a distance from some senior male employees, but often felt they needed to maintain good face-to-face relationships with them due to favoritism in the office. Since there were “vague suggestions” for female employees to advance in the workplace at best, they often had to mingle with these men outside of work, even at an “iconic” Christmas party to which they attended. contractors could only attend in the company of a “red man”. Badge.”

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The report also claims that openly gay employees were forced to repeatedly rebuff advances from male employees, who sometimes reprimanded them for being gay. Queer couples also reported being reprimanded for violating a “no-touch policy” for which straight couples rarely face consequences.

There were also reportedly regular pay discrepancies between male and female employees, including as contractors. Hannah claimed that she earned less than a man younger than her and that after weeks of arguing for a raise, he was granted one of hers which left her earning less than him. Women often left the company for jobs that offered twice what they were paid at Nintendo of America, and others were only offered raises after they threatened the company with competitive offers.

Employees who were subjected to this harassing and discriminatory behavior reportedly felt that they could not express their grievances for fear of repercussions internally and throughout the gaming industry due to Nintendo’s influence.

Kotaku sought comment from both Nintendo of America and Aerotek, but did not receive a comment in time for the story’s publication. GameSpot has also reached out to Nintendo for comment. Since the report’s release, Kotaku has been made aware of an internal memo sent by Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser, which read: “We have investigated and always will investigate any allegations of which we become aware, and are actively investigating these most recent claims.” .”

Nintendo has also been accused of a complaint through the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year that alleged it fired an employee for a unionization effort, a claim Nintendo has denied. Nintendo has since been accused of a second NLRB complaint, as reported by Axios.

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