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​‘Arkham Knight’ Developer Accused Of Ignoring Sexual Harassment Claims

​‘Arkham Knight’ Developer Accused Of Ignoring Sexual Harassment Claims

More than half the women at the studio signed a letter detailing harassment at the company back in 2018.

Julian Benson

Julian Benson

Rocksteady Studios, the developer of the Batman Arkham games, is accused of ignoring sexual harassment at the company and, also, suppressing a letter detailing the problems that was submitted to senior management in 2018.

Sent in November 2018, The Guardian reports that the letter details sexual harassment "in the form of unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman's body, and inappropriate comments in the office", "slurs regarding the transgendered community", and "discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues".

Batman: Arkham Knight /
Rocksteady Studios, WB Interactive Entertainment

The letter was signed by 10 of the 16 women who worked at the company at the time - a number of whom have left as a result of management's inaction. Rocksteady Studios held a seminar on sexism, but the letter wasn't broadly acknowledged in the company until The Guardian approached Rocksteady Studios for comment last week.

Since The Guardian's report, Kim MacAskill, who worked as senior scriptwriter at Rocksteady Studios between 2016 - 2019, has said she wrote the letter. In a video she posted to her channel on YouTube she has spoken about what it was like to work at the company, why she needed to write the letter, and goes into some of the experiences of the women she was working with.

"I started this letter because I was experiencing sexism with one particular individual - still in the company," MacAskill says. "And I found a female crying in the bathroom because a man, despite her telling him not to, was groping her repeatedly, sending her messages in the evening, and when he was drunk he would start to fabricate stories he was sleeping with her." She had just been told by HR that she would need to continue working with the man while it conducted its investigations.

After hearing this and other accounts of harassment, MacAskill says she had one to one conversations with all the women working at Rocksteady at the time, except for the two who worked in HR. "I expected one or two would say 'Well, actually, I've experienced this, too'," MacAskill says, but in fact "every single one of them except one [had experienced harassment]."

MacAskill heard that one woman had been harassed by a company director and that another had been suffering from harassment since 2015.

MacAskill then drafted a letter and individually sent it to all the women she'd spoken with, redrafted it based on feedback. She says in this time HR spoke with her and higher management "took me aside, not only to tell me to stop what I was doing but to tell me that to continue doing so would potentially jeopardise my position within the company and not just that would maybe even jeopardise my position of being hired by other companies going forward because I may be seen as a troublemaker".

Assassin's Creed Valhalla /

A number of publishers and developers have been put under scrutiny in recent months as claims of sexual harassment have come to light. Ubisoft has fired a number of senior staff after staff spoke out about years of harassment and sexism at the publisher. Most recently the creative director on Assassin's Creed Valhalla stepped down from the role and later was fired from the studio.

We've reached out to Warner Bros for comment and will update this story if they respond.

Featured Image Credit: Rocksteady Studios