Former Naughty Dog employee David Ballard has claimed that he was sexually harassed by one of the studio's leads and that when he reported this situation he was fired because the company was going in a different direction and his position was no longer required.
The incident occurred in late 2015, originally Mr Ballard was too ashamed of the situation but has been inspired by other TV/Film individuals speaking of their experiences. Ballad took to Twitter over the weekend to deliver his account of events.
"In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward," Ballard said in a series of posts. "In February 2016 I had a mental breakdown at work & Sony PlayStation HR became involved. When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day. They cited the company was moving in a different direction and my job was no longer needed. They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. I declined to sign."
"I have been unemployed for 17 months since. When interviewers ask why I left Naughty Dog, I say I was burned out by the crunch, ashamed to get to the root of the problem of being sexually harassed. I'm speaking out now because of the strength I've seen in others coming forward about their experiences in the TV/Film industry. This is the hardest thing I've ever done. I will not let anyone kill my drive or love for the video game industry, my passions or life."
Naughty Dog have responded to the allegations of their ex-employee via their official website, denying the allegations.
"We have recently read on social media that an ex-employee of Naughty Dog, Dave Ballard, claims he was sexually harassed when he worked at Naughty Dog," the company said. "We have not found any evidence of having received allegations from Mr. Ballard that he was harassed in any way at Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment. Harassment and inappropriate conduct have no place at Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment. We have taken and always will take reports of sexual harassment and other workplace grievances very seriously. We value every single person who works at Naughty Dog and Sony interactive Entertainment. It is of utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe, productive workplace environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making games."