Former Developer Talks About Sexual Harassment At Naughty Dog Studios
Former developer David Ballard, who used to work on environments at Naughty Dog, recently went on Twitter to talk about the sexual harassment at Naughty Dog that he experienced apparently several months ago, after which he was fired for calling Sony’s human resources department about the incident and has since been unemployed.
The story broke earlier this month, along with at least one other article about an employee at the studio making lewd remarks to a reporter. This recent controversy has likely been inspired by a similar incident taking place in Hollywood, where numerous executives (including Harvey Weinstein, a well-known film producer) were accused of sexually harassing, raping, or molesting various other actresses and even a few actors.
However, when it comes to sexual harassment at Naughty Dog, Ballard alleges that he was harassed by a manager at Naughty Dog near the end of 2015. He kept quiet about it for several months afterward, and only called Sony’s human resources department after experiencing a mental breakdown. The day after he called, he was informed that Naughty Dog would no longer be needing his services.
Sony and Naughty Dog both allege that they never received any sort of complaint from Ballard, which is technically true; Ballard had only called the human resources department, and had never gotten the chance to file a formal complaint.
However, it does appear that, according to Ballard, Sony attempted to silence him. The company allegedly approached him with a contract that would both swear him to silence and award him $20,000 for agreeing. Ballard declined to sign.
While Naughty Dog is one of the most-beloved video game development studios in the gaming world, they aren’t immune to criticism any more than someone like Harvey Weinstein or any other Hollywood executive is, and hopefully the studio takes steps in the future to prevent things like sexual harassment at Naughty Dog from happening again.