David Ballard, a former employee of Naughty Dog, recently made statements to point out that he suffered sexual harassment while working in the Sony Interactive Entertainment studio.
Ballard served as a stage artist and multiplayer designer while working at Naughty Dog. He mentioned that he worked on Uncharted games and The Last of Us. He stated that in 2015 he was sexually harassed by a head of the studio, which resulted in his dismissal in early 2016.
“In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward,” he said on Twitter. “In February 2016 I had a mental breakdown at work & Sony Playstation HR became involved. When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day. They cited the company was moving in a different direction and my job was no longer needed.”
Given the situation, the company offered money and asked him to sign a letter of resignation where he was asked to agree to the terms and was prohibited from talking about this situation to which Ballard refused.
“They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. I declined to sign,” he continued. “I have been unemployed for 17 months since. 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.”
“I’m speaking out now because of the strength I’ve seen in others coming forward about their experiences in the TV/Film industry. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I will not let anyone kill my drive or love for the video game industry, my passions or life,” he concluded.
Sadly, this is not new in the entertainment industry. In recent days a group of actresses have made allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood producer, for sexual abuse. These actions have motivated several people to make their cases public, in order to stop this situation.
At the moment, neither Naughty Dog nor Sony Interactive Entertainment has issued a statement to the comments of David Ballard.