The studio has offered money for the complaint, but no apology, if Kim MacAskill, a former Rocksteady scriptwriter, is to be believed.
In 2018, ten of the sixteen women who worked at the studio signed a letter detailing unacceptable behaviour within Rocksteady: sexual harassment, putting down transgender people, and derogatory, sexual language about women were all mentioned four years ago. This letter was made public in 2020, and that’s when MacAskill came forward: she claimed she wrote the letter and claimed she lost her job for writing it. She also asked not to be on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s credits.
MacAskill raised the issue again this week. On Twitter, she explained that she was withdrawing from the Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award nomination because Rocksteady is a major sponsor of the event. She reiterated that her letter caused her to lose her job: “After an investigation, there were resolution offers. They’ve offered me money. Lots… I want an apology, and I even asked for it last week. Hell, I half begged. I want this to be resolved, but not like that. Not with money. How does anything change that way? Rocksteady is image over intention. To take an award connected to them would be an unspoken acceptance of what they did.” Responding to the letter two years ago, Rocksteady said it had taken immediate and rigorous steps to remedy the problems.
A Warner spokesperson then responded with a statement saying, “Investigations found there was no evidence substantiating the allegations of this former employee who resigned in 2019. We stand against all forms of harassment and take any allegation extremely seriously. We support those who have concerns they wish to raise. Therefore, we took the necessary time to thoroughly investigate the allegations at Rocksteady Studios with the utmost integrity. We believe a strong management team leads Rocksteady, and we are proud of the work they have already done and their ongoing commitment to ensuring the studio is an equitable and inclusive workplace where every employee is listened to, respected and supported. Rocksteady has been a sponsor of Women in Games in the past and continues their sponsorship to support and celebrate women working in the games industry.”
According to the statement, an external, independent law firm conducted one of the investigations. The second was led by Warner Media’s People Relations team outside its gaming division. Both concluded that the issues raised “were handled appropriately and sensitively.” The question is whether this was indeed the case.