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Former Naughty Dog Employee Accuses Uncharted Lead of Sexual Harassment

naughty dog, developer, metacritic

Former Naughty Dog Employee Accuses Uncharted Lead of Sexual Harassment

Last October, a former Naughty Dog employee claimed he was sexually harassed at the studio but didn’t name any one particular person. Now, feeling like nothing has been done, he tweeted out the name of the man who sexually harassed him and the HR employee that supposedly did nothing about it.

On Oct. 14 of last year, David Ballard, a former Naughty Dog Environment Artist, posted the following on Twitter:

He continued in a Twitter thread saying:

“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 not to 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.”

The next day, the Sony first-party studio posted this on their official website:

“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. 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.”

After this, things went quiet. Now, over six months later, Ballard took to Twitter to comment on the fact that nothing had come of his situation since he went public about it. After a suggestion from another Twitter user, Ballard posted the names of those involved.

According to Ballard’s tweets, Rober Cogburn, who has worked on almost all of the Uncharted games and served as the Lead Multiplayer Design for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, was the Naughty Dog employee who sexually harassed him. Ballard then proceeded to say that Former Naughty Dog Co-President, Christophe Balestra, accused him of wanting to fire Cogburn when he explained the situation. The Sony PlayStation HR employee present during all of this was Heather Zavadil.

None of those supposedly involved have yet to comment on Ballard’s newest set of tweets and it is unknown if Sony, Naughty Dog, Cogburn, Balestra or Zavadil will.

This story will be updated when or if more information comes to light.

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