Why wouldn’t sexual harassment and aggressive inappropriate behavior not exist in game related businesses if it exists everywhere else? The latest accusation comes from former IGN employee Kallie Plagge. In her tweet three days ago, she lists multiple advances by IGN editor Vince Ingenito:
— Kallie Plagge (@inkydojikko) November 11, 2017
In her tweets Mrs. Plagge details how she bravely did the right thing once the inappropriate advances from Ingenito continued, and went to IGN’s Human Resources department. According to her statements, she was “made to sign a document stating” that it was Mrs. Plagge who acted inappropriately enticing Ingenito with her improper flirtations. These flirtations according to Plagge involved inappropriately using her chest around Ingenito (which appears to be a fabrication of the HR department). She was threatened with loss of employment if she did not sign the document and threatened again with the loss of her work if it happened again.
According to her statements, being under this kind of constant emotional pressure led to several physical ailments including nausea, anxiety, and terror. By coming open about her experiences, Mrs. Plagge sheds new light in the goings-on inside one of the bigger game journalist sources online today–in an industry that is not a stranger to inappropriate sexual scandals (See: GamerGate).
Vince Ingenito’s conduct is deplorable. In one of his advances, he allegedly told Mrs. Plagge that when he was her “age, I could go all night”. In the allegations, he routinely made fun of Plagge’s choices in men. Instead of investigating Mr. Ingenito’s behavior, the allegations state that they instead wanted to know who Kallie Plagge was dancing with at the IGN E3 party. Such a ridiculous line of questioning by the Human Resources department raises serious concerns for many reasons.
If true, it would indicate that there were friendships or perhaps alliances between top editors and executives and the HR branch to keep such behavior silent. It would also indicate that this sexual harassment report would not be the first one to exist. It is highly probable that there are many women and men who have been harassed then terrorized into silence or new employment to maintain the status quo. Does this inappropriate behavior by a top editor behavior explain their tendency for 10/10 reviews? If their alleged exploitation and victimization of men and women internally had no concerns with HR, what about their dealings with publishers and developers? Whatever the extent is, hopefully, more employees come forward with their experiences now that Kallie Plagge has bravely opened the door alone.