Something that’s been popping up in the news recently is various leaks about a very sexist and highly sexual workplace culture at Riot Games, the studio that makes League of Legends. This has now culminated in a Riot Games executive suspension, specifically at Scott Gelb, Riot’s COO, for workplace misconduct.
This sort of stuff has apparently been happening at Riot Games for a long time, with many women who work at the studio having leveling accusations at the studio of sexism, sexual harassment, and discrimination against them in what is apparently a company culture of a “Boy’s club.” A lot of this information has come from Twitter posts from former female Riot employees, and back in November a lawsuit was filed due to the toxic culture.
However, the Riot Games executive suspension is the first time that we see the company actually visibly doing something about it. Scott Gelb is being suspended due to playing a part in most of the stories about sexual harassment, doing things like farting on employees, humping people, and “ball-tapping”, which is when you slap a person’s testicles.
It’s also believed by a number of employee’s that Gelb’s behavior is responsible for the toxic company culture, as employees who saw him doing those things without repercussions ended up picking up his behavior. While Gelb currently remains an employee at Riot, other employees that mimicked his behavior no longer work at the company.
In response to his actions, Gelb is being put on unpaid leave for two months, and will undergo training. But at the same time, even this solution has come across poorly for some employees, who believe that despite some sexist executives leaving, the fact that Gelb was allowed to remain instead of being fired betrays a double standard at the company for executives who are insulted from the repercussions of their actions.
Either way, hopefully the Riot Games executive suspension is enough to persuade most employees at the studio to knock it off and start to treat women better.