After a few days’ wait, Rocksteady has issued its statement on earlier accusations that it largely ignored a 2018 letter from female staff disclosing cases of sexism and harassment faced while at the studio.
While the studio says it did in fact investigate the complaints at the time and improve policies surrounding its commitment to inclusion, Rocksteady says that it is now working with an independent third-party to help address any current complaints with the studio’s internal culture.
“Right now we are as passionate as ever about creating an inclusive culture and we are listening carefully,” reads the statement. “We are determined to stand up for our staff and stand firm against any unacceptable behavior.”
This comes after a Guardian report earlier this week accused the Batman studio of inaction two years after several women working at the studio wrote a letter to leadership about misconduct they’d experienced in the workplace. Ten of the sixteen women that worked at the studio at the time signed the letter, which chronicled moments of sexual harassment as well as inappropriate comments.
One of the key figures in that letter’s creation, senior writer Kim MacAskill, followed up The Guardian report with comments that Rocksteady was “inept” at dealing with the issues, aligning with The Guardian’s note that the response was a single training seminar.
Rocksteady’s statement paints a picture of a larger response, saying “in response to the initial communication, we met with all our female staff, we listened, and we dealt with the issues raised. All formal complaints were thoroughly investigated, addressed appropriately, and a number of serious measures were taken in response to the issues that were surfaced, including discipline or termination of staff.”
Despite the discrepancy, MacAskill says in a tweet that the statement and Rocksteady’s intent behind it is an attempt to improve.
Everyone deserves a second chance. I wasn’t happy when I left in 2019. I was gutted to be told things hadn’t changed. However, I had many happy days at RS. Please don’t hate on their attempts to improve. Mistakes were made on both sides. My job is done.
— Kim MacAskill (@kimmacaskill1) August 21, 2020