Over the weekend former Naughty Dog employee David Ballard alleged that he was sexually harassed while working for the Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us developer. According to Ballard, he was sexually harassed in late 2014, and was fired shortly after going to human resources about the matter. This led to Naughty Dog responding to the allegations, and now more information has emerged.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, who is also the author of the excellent book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, was able to reach out to three former and current Naughty Dog employees about the matter. All three commented anonymously, and said they were unaware of the alleged sexual harassment. Here’s what Schreier was able to learn from these conversations:
Three current and former Naughty Dog employees, all speaking under condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize their careers, all said they had not heard anything about Ballard’s sexual harassment allegations until this weekend and that they were disturbed by the news. Those employees said they did not know or want to speculate who the alleged sexual harasser may be. Each discipline at the studio typically has two leads, and by one estimate there are around two dozen at Naughty Dog.
One current Naughty Dog employee said that he and co-workers he spoke to were “blind-sided” by the news, and that while he believed Ballard’s allegations, he also believed that the studio had been unaware of them. “There definitely is not a culture of covering up bad behavior,” that person said. “I and quite a lot of other people wouldn’t be here if there was.”
There are even more details in the full article, so definitely check out Jason’s great reporting over at Kotaku for more.
We’ll have more on the Naughty Dog harassment allegations as the situation continues to unfold.