With the seemingly growing list of allegations in Hollywood as of late– it’s sad that we have to report that the barrier has been broken into the gaming world.
Over the weekend; former IGN editor (and current GameSpot editor) Kallie Plagge joined the growing masses of individuals who are sharing harrowing sexual harassment stories, part of a larger “me too” movement that’s occurred in the wake of sexual assault allegations against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.
Since the initial tweet by Plagge; the editorial staff at IGN has released the following collective statement;
“IGN has failed two of its female employees” and that when harassment was reported the women “did not get the respect and care that they deserved as IGN employees and as people.”
“I can’t swallow my anger any longer,” wrote Plagge last week. “The silence physically hurts.”
Guys don’t like skinny girls. You’re perfect.
Plagge described an experience at IGN from 2016, where former editor Vince Ingenito allegedly harassed her and “one other female employee” for months. (The other employee has not come forward.) The harassment included “uncomfortable compliments” (”Guys don’t like skinny girls. You’re perfect”), “manipulative and abusive comments” (“[The guys he assumed I was dating] are all boys. You need a real man), and “overtly sexual comments” (“When I was your age, I could go all night”). Plagge recalled the latter was followed by a touch on the arm.
These comments were reported to IGN human resources, who allegedly told Plagge she “needed to have better judgment about who she was ‘friends’ with.” IGN reportedly told Plagge she was an “equal participant” in “inappropriate flirtation” and that she “used her body” to provoke him, then went on to ask about who she’d danced with at a recent party
Not the sort of Human Resources team I would be thrilled to deal with– Begs the question, is the quality of HR in companies like IGN being overlooked?
Following the incident, Ingenito continued to work at IGN. He no longer works there.
“I spent the entirety of those months sick with anxiety, literally to the point of severe nausea every day,” she said. “I was terrified of further retaliation should I say anything. The harassment (and horribly mishandled HR investigation) was a major factor in my leaving IGN.”
You’re not a liar
Ingenito responded to Plagge’s claims in a series of tweets. He said she is not “a liar.”
“What I believe is that I overestimated or perhaps misread the degree of our friendship,” he said.
None of the specific allegations were addressed by Ingenito, claiming “there are legal limits to what I am allowed to say about the allegations she made against me, or the investigation that resulted.”
He said he “never touched Kallie in any sexual way” and requested people “do not go piling on her.”
Plagge said Ingenito would still speak with her occasionally regarding work-related questions, and would “sit near me in meetings when management was not around.”
I think its important to hear both sides of any story, especially when careers, mental health and peoples reputations are on the line– Having heard both sides of this story, it seems like the biggest failing here is the HR team not having a clue how to deal with the situation.
IGN Management / HR have not yet released a statement, but given the key part Alanah Pearce and other individuals have at the company– one hopes acknowledgement will come sooner rather than later.
There won’t be a Daily Fix today because a large group of IGN employees have refused to work until the company issues a statement/apology regarding what happened to Kallie Plagge.
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) November 13, 2017
Solidarity is a huge part of why stories of harassment have been given weight in the weeks after Weinstein & Spacey’s oustings, seeing Plagge’s colleagues standing by her is encouraging and will hopefully lead to others who have been wronged in a similar way find the strength to raise their voice.
I am, frankly, super proud of the people I work with today, especially the lesser appreciated/general staff who boldly spoke up about industry-wide issues, and how we can do better, and be better, and should lead by example. I am proud to know all of you.
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) November 14, 2017
If you’re experiencing any Harassment at work of any type, Please follow the links for support.