Rocksteady Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations

The release of the 2018 letter of allegations of toxicity and sexual harassment at Rocksteady Studios comes ahead of reveal of its latest game focused on Suicide Squad

A Batman costume from the 2005 Batman Begins film worn by Christian Bale and designed by Lindy Hemming is on display at the DC Comics Exhibition: Dawn Of Super Heroes at the O2 Arena on February 22, 2018 in London, England. A letter from 2018 signed by a large portion of the studio's female employees was released, accusing the studio of workplace sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, and toxicity, with the reason for the recent release being that leadership has done little to change anything in the years since. The company addressed the problem by conducting an office seminar that only lasted for an hour.

A female employee of the game studio approached The Guardian and wished to remain anonymous.

The letter, reportedly signed by 10 of the 16 women on staff at the time, cited a number of persistant issues including transphobic slurs, derogatory and sexually explicit remarks about women, and sexual harassment that included "unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman's body, and inappropriate comments in the office", the Guardian reports. In a video she posted to her channel on YouTube she has spoken about what it was like to work at the company, why she needed to write the letter, and goes into some of the experiences of the women she was working with.

"I have heard everything from groping claims to incidents involving [senior staff], all of whom are men", one member of staff who has since left Rocksteady said. "It felt that it was a just way for them to cover their arses", said the source.

One individual who signed the letter told The Guardian that sexual misconduct had also bled into the studio's projects, claiming that designs for several characters, including Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, were highly sexualized.

From day one at Rocksteady Studios, we set out to create a place where people are looked after, a place fundamentally built on respect and inclusion.

Rocksteady responded when The Guardian reached out to them regarding the two-year complaint. She also added that the letter wasn't published widely because the industry values discretion, and that the signatories were anxious that if they might be removed from the credits of the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The letter was also kept private on behalf on all ten employees, who are also anonymous to protect their identities.

Suicide Squad is set to be revealed at DC Fandome on August 23rd at 01.00hrs BST. She also expressed disappointment in the company's response.

While the debate on Ubisoft continues online and the allegations of harassment that have invested the French videogame giant, the editorial staff of the Guardian brings out a new case of mistreatment that would have occurred, this time, at Rocksteady, the authors of the Batman Arkham series and of the future Suicide Squad.