Nintendo America Facing Serious Harassment Allegations

Nintendo are dealing with sexual harassment allegations at their American office. Here's what we know so far.

Nintendo of America Headquarters
These are the American headquarters of Nintendo. | © Wikipedia

Nintendo have become iconic for spreading joy and cuteness in the world; all of their games and childish, and playful and fun. So this news will come as a harrowing shock for long-term fans. Put briefly, it sounds like Nintendo America have been allowing a culture of misogyny to fester in their headquarters. And now they're paying the price...

Sexual Harassment Claims Emerge

As reported by Kotaku on August 16, several ex-employees of Nintendo America have come forward anonymously to complain about conditions, they "told a story of a corporate culture where sexist behavior was commonplace, and very little action was taken to address it". The exposé also described a wage gap at the company, with male employees earning more and female employees being less likely to get full-time positions.

The most harrowing case involves a male colleague who was added to a WhatsApp group called "The Laughing Zone" and began posting things like this:

When the conversation turned to Genshin Impact, the translator posted a gif of Paimon, a child character in the game. He posted about how it’s okay to be sexually attracted to Paimon despite the character’s childlike appearance, voice, and personality.

And guess what? The colleague wasn't punished very harshly:

Hannah claimed that Aerotek management warned her to be less outspoken after she reported the incident. She said that her friends from the work group chat blamed her for reporting the incident, and that the only repercussion the translator faced was being assigned sexual harassment training.

We don't know how effective the sexual harassment training was, but we're doubtful it was enough.

Why not dump your Switch for a proper console? The games won't be cheap though...

How Has Nintendo Responded?

Nintendo haven't reacted publically to the sexual harassment allegations, but in an internal memo the higher ups have asked employees to come forward if they're uncomfortable. The memo tries to make pre-existing rules clear, but it's not as proactive as some would like:

We have strict policies designed to protect our employees and associates from inappropriate conduct and expect full compliance with these policies by all who work for or with us.

If you experience, have experienced, witness, or have witnessed anything concerning such behavior that is contrary to our Standards of Conduct, employee handbook, or Company Values, please immediately contact your HR Business Partner.

Yeah... even Activision Blizzard had a better response to sexual harassment allegations. And that's a low bar.

Will this make you boycott Nintendo? Or are you willing to see if they can make changes? Let's just hope they can repair their reputation before the next Zelda BotW drops...