Ex Naughty Dog developer alleges sexual harrassment
An ex employee at Naughty Dog, the developer behind the Uncharted and The Last Of Us franchises, has claimed he was sexually harassed while working at the studio.
David Ballard came forward on social media last night, alleging that after he was sexually harassed in 2015, he approached Sony HR and was offered a large sum of money to leave Naughty Dog quietly. He says he declined this offer.
Ballard’s claims can be read on his twitterfeed but his full statement is posted below:
- In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward. 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. They tried to silence me by offering $20k if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. I declined to sign. 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.
Ballards claims follow a week of allegations of sexual harassment against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from the company he founded.
According to a report on Eurogamer, Sony has released a statement in which the company says it has no record of Ballard’s initial claim with HR.