A number of IGN employees refused to work today, in solidarity with a former employee who posted sexual harassment allegations about another former employee. Current GameSpot editor Kallie Plagge tweeted last week about her experiences at IGN involving former editor Vince Ingenito. Plagge stated that Ingenito's harassment consisted of uncomfortable compliments, overtly sexual statements, and abusive comments. She also states that she told IGN's human resources department about the conduct and was rebuffed for her efforts.
"This was a man who preyed on me, a young woman 15 years his junior by identifying my insecurities at work (specifically regarding recognition for my work) and manipulating my trust. I was made to sign a document stating that I’d behaved inappropriately, on the condition that I’d be fired if it happened again," said Plagge about the situation.
Ingenito responded to Plagge's complaints, stating that he does not believe she is a liar. "What I believe is that I overestimated or perhaps misread the degree of our friendship," she said in a lengthy reply. Plagge left IGN in December 2016 over the situation, and Ingenito was laid off in March 2017.
Today, IGN employee and Daily Fix host Alanah Pearce tweeted that many employees refused to work until the company released a full statement on the matter. Pearce acknowledged that IGN is likely reticent to offer an official apology because of legal reasons, but employees still want to get as close as possible.
There won’t be a Daily Fix today because a large group of IGN employees have refused to work until the company issues a statement/apology regarding what happened to Kallie Plagge.— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) November 13, 2017
IGN social editor Cassidee Moser spoke on the situation via Twitter as well, relating the internal morale at the outlet.
"Today has been a very somber and humbling day at IGN. Everyone is outraged and demanding changes be made to protect people going forward," said Moser. "I find the way her case was handled to be reprehensible. But after speaking to many in management and editorial today, I am encouraged."
IGN editorial released a statement in response to the allegations and the walk out today. The post made clear that the statement was from editorial, not IGN's management or legal teams.
"It is with great sadness, pain, and regret that we tell you that IGN has failed two of its female employees, one former and one current – both of whom the team cares deeply about. We are devastated that two of our own have had to live with and carry this pain for more than a year," said IGN. We care deeply about what we do, and we hope our passion for video games and entertainment shines through in our articles, videos, and podcasts every day. But we care even more deeply about each other, and we will continue to fight to make this right for the past, present, and certainly the future. Any future allegations will be taken extremely seriously, and we are actively working to ensure that everyone on our team feels like they work in a safe environment; we will not tolerate the exclusion or mistreatment of any people. The human resources representative who oversaw this situation originally is no longer with the company, and our current HR rep has been transparent and willing to listen to ideas and suggestions for how to create a better work environment going forward.
There's no word on whether this statement to lead to IGN employees returning to work, or whether they're waiting for a management statement.