Resurfaced video shows Activision Blizzard execs on panel that joked about over-sexualized female characters

The Activision Blizzard booth at the 2013 E3 expo in Los Angeles
  • A video showing Activision Blizzard executives joking about over-sexualized female video game characters in “World of Warcraft” resurfaced on Twitter.
  • The video resurfaced amid news the company is being sued, in a lawsuit accusing it of having a “frat boy” culture where women were routinely harassed.
  • Activision Blizzard called the allegations “distorted, and in many cases false” in a statement.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A video showing Activision Blizzard executives joking about over-sexualized female video game characters resurfaced this week after California sued the company, accusing the gaming giant of having a “frat boy” culture where women were routinely harassed.

The video, from 2010, shows a woman asking the executives at a panel about female characters in the online game “World of Warcraft.”

“I love the fact that you have a lot of very strong female characters, however, I was wondering if we could have some that don’t look like they’ve stepped out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog?” the woman asked.

The panel, made up of all men, laughed and asked which catalog she would rather the characters come out of.

During the panel, J. Allen Brack – now the president of the company – makes a rocker gesture with both his hands after another panelist cracks a joke about female versions of an ox-like race in the game.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Activision Blizzard – which produces hits like Call of Duty and Overwatch – and two of its subsidiaries on Tuesday, saying women at the company had been sexually harassed, paid less than their male counterparts, and retaliated against when they complained.

The bombshell lawsuit shocked the video game industry, with some influencers already reconsidering working with the company.

Activision Blizzard called the allegations “distorted, and in many cases false,” in a statement on Tuesday. In a memo leaked to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Allen wrote: “I disdain ‘bro culture,’ and have spent my career fighting against it.”