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Ex-Rocksteady dev says studio offered money after harassment complaint, but no apology

In withdrawing from consideration for an award sponsored by the Suicide Squad developer, Kim MacAskill says Rocksteady is "image over intention"

Former Rocksteady scriptwriter Kim MacAskill says the studio offered to pay her to resolve complaints stemming from her time with the studio, but refused to apologize for any wrongdoing.

In 2018, 10 of the 16 women working at Rocksteady reportedly co-signed a letter detailing unacceptable behavior at the studio, including sexual harassment, slurs about transgendered people, and talking about women in derogatory or sexual ways.

After the letter's existence was made public in 2020, MacAskill came forward as the author of that letter, saying she lost her job in retaliation for her role in it. She also asked for her name to be left off the credits for Rocksteady's upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

MacAskill revisited the subject this week, explaining in a Twitter post that she was withdrawing from consideration for a Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award because Rocksteady is one of the event's primary sponsors.

She repeated her assertion that she lost her job over writing the letter, adding, "After an investigation, there were resolution offers. They've offered me money. Lots…

"All I want is an apology and last week, I even asked for it. Hell, I half begged. I just want this to be resolved but not like that. Not with money. How does anything change that way?"

She added, "Rocksteady is image over intention. To take an award connected to them would be an unspoken acceptance of what they did."

When the letter was originally reported on, Rocksteady said it "immediately took firm measures to address the matters that were raised" two years prior.

Update: A Warner Bros. representative passed along the following statement: "Investigations found there was no evidence substantiating the allegations of this former employee who resigned in 2019. We stand against all forms of harassment and take any allegation extremely seriously. We support those who have concerns they wish to raise. We therefore took the necessary time to thoroughly investigate allegations at Rocksteady Studios with the utmost integrity."

The statement said one investigation was conducted by an external, independent law firm, with a second by a Warner Media People Relations team from outside the gaming division, and both found that the issues raised "were handled appropriately and sensitively."

It concluded, "We believe Rocksteady is led by a strong management team and we are proud of the work they have already done, and their ongoing commitment to, ensuring the studio is an equitable and inclusive workplace, one where every employee is listened to, respected and supported. Rocksteady has been a sponsor of Women in Games in the past and continues their sponsorship to support and celebrate women working in the games industry."

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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