It was hoped the #MeToo movement would quietly sunset itself following the revelations of Johnny Depp’s innocence leading to Amber Heard’s lawyers removing themselves from her case. Along with the founders of the movement demonstrated a clear double standard in defending Joe Biden in the Tara Reid accusations. To a certain degree, the movement has lost a lot of standing in the public’s eye, even as it continues unabated in the video game industry.
Over the last few weeks, a flurry of sexual misconduct accusations against high ranking male employees has flooded Twitter. Not the police or human resource departments where they would be vetted and evaluated based on the merits of the evidence and the truth. No, instead, these accusations have gone straight to twitter where the twitter mobs have picked up on them and proceeded to harass these companies until, without investigation, these men are fired.
Infamously Chris Avellone has already been canceled for having the audacity to pick up women in bars and hit on one of the employees he worked with before stopping when she asked him to. Now the current wave of accusations turns to Ubisoft, where an unspecified number of employees have been suspended pending ongoing investigations.
Naturally, Bloomberg news provided the names and positions of both of the top male employees while refusing to print the names of their accusers. Tommy François and Maxime Béland, both vice presidents overseeing development at the company, have been suspended from their positions because of the accusations on social media. Ashraf Ismail earlier this week stepped down from his position as creative lead on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla following a Twitter allegation of sexual misconduct.
Owing to the video game industry not being the first industry group to be hit by a wave of false allegations, we can predict with a reasonable degree of certainty what consequences will follow. Those hoping this will allow them to advance in their careers are going to be in for a rude awakening. The first chance these companies have to lay these employees off, they will do so. Before this happens, they will see a flight of top tier talent, who would rather take lower pay elsewhere than risk having their career ended by these people.
As an industry, women will begin to see themselves isolated from their male counterparts. Either directly by companies segregating their office along gender lines and forbidding interactions unless documented and necessary or because men will be minimized working with their female colleagues to preserve their own careers. Those foolish enough to not will see themselves isolated from their fellow male employees to avoid being caught up in the inevitable accusation.
Hiring practices are going to change. Already legal teams from many industries have informed their companies not to hire women. That it is cheaper and less costly for the legal team to fight hiring malpractice lawsuits than it is to combat sexual misconduct accusations that will nearly always boil down to her word against his.
Finally, the industry will see executives implement the Mike Pence rule. A simple rule of never be alone with a female colleague ever. At conventions, always have someone accompany you, as always to have a witness against the inevitable false accusation.
None of this is hyperbole but documented in numerous “Me Too Backlash” articles that dot the web. Men avoiding women has been a growing trend for years, with The Guardian highlighting the effect the movement had in 2019 following a small scale study.
27% of men avoid one-on-one meetings with female co-workers. Yep, that’s right, almost a third of men are terrified to be alone in a room with a woman.
21% of men said they would be reluctant to hire women for a job that would require close interaction (such as business travel).
19% of men would be reluctant to hire an attractive woman.
Sadly it is difficult to feel sorry for those currently being accused either. Backlash or no, these individuals did foster this atmosphere of guilty until proven innocent and were all too keen to not speak up for their male colleagues who were falsely accused. They have routinely pushed feminism into our escapism, so now that the atmosphere they created is attacking them, it is more karmic than tragic.