The League of Legends Developer Riot Games has acknowledged the role of Chief Operating Officer Scott Gelb in maintaining a culture of toxic masculinity that has made the company a gender discrimination target.
Reports of Riot's "bridge culture" first discovered in late August, and stated several allegations of sexual abuse and gender discrimination in the workplace. Gelb is particularly accused of repeatedly pointing at employees, humping them and turning their testicles as part of what was described as a continuous workplace allowance.
In view of the claims that it promoted a non-female working environment, Riot asked to commit and promised to conduct an internal review and make necessary changes in its culture.
Now, more than three months in its 1
Riot, which is extremely popular "League of Legends", is the most sought after eport, has 2,500 employees, of which 80% are men, according to Kotaku. Riot is a subsidiary of Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate and the world's largest video game publisher.
In an internal email first obtained by Kotaku and later published in full by Variety, Riolo CEO Nicolo Laurent said that the decision to suspend, but eventually retain Gelb, was made after a joint investigation by a steering committee and law firm Seyfarth Shaw.
Riot said in a statement: "After careful review and evaluation of the findings, the government department ruled that a two month unpaid leave, together with training, was the correct measure given the allegations of being substantiated. We can also confirm that many of the rumors which circulates about Scott in the company, media and other channels, was actually not true.
The email and the statement do not indicate what Riot proved to be false or behavior. Gelb was suspended, although generally described as inappropriate, unprofessional
: Read more : The company behind one of the world's largest video games was only turned off with a lawsuit claiming that the "bridge culture" had created a sexist workplace where women were considered on their "hotness", saying that "No does not necessarily mean no" and shown unwanted images of male genitals
Laurent asked Riot staff to join him in uplifting Gelb as Leading his return, pointing out that he had chosen to apply for "redemption" rather than leaving the company. He said that Gelb would "help to make the Riot a more diverse and inclusive organization."
"Scott could have avoided owning his past and consequences," said Laurent in the e-mail. "He could have left Riot, Scott chose ownership and redemption. I want to mess for him, will support him through this trip and will utilize him as a great leader when he returns next year. I hope you will join me."
A "flap of the wrist"
Kotaku said it was talking to several current Riot employees who were frustrated by the company's decision to keep Gelb. One person resembled two months suspension as "a small flap on the wrist" and described the decision to keep Gelb so disrespectful of the staff affected by his behavior.
In its apology from August, Riot said it was willing to remove employees and make major changes as part of their internal investigation.
"Nobody is holy," said the company's blog post. "We are prepared to make major changes and have begun to take action against specific issues, including the removal of Rioters, although we are not likely to come into these details publicly on a case by case basis for legal and personal reasons."
Laurent said in the e-mail that Riot remained obliged to protect employees during the investigation, but that the Gelb case was an exception due to its high visibility role in the company.
The company is also faced with a legal challenge from a class action discrimination lawsuit filed in November by two female Riot employees, a former and an actor who claimed that the company's "brok culture" had a negative impact on their career.
Other Riot employees have been accused of sending unwanted images of their genitals and maintaining a list of "hottest" employees. Lawsuits also claim that male Riot employees used the word "dick" 500 times in the workplace over a month.