Sexual Harassment Allegations at IGN Prompt Some Employees to Stop Working


#1

Last Friday, former IGN editor (and current GameSpot editor) Kallie Plagge joined the chorus of individuals sharing sexual harassment stories, part of a larger “me too” movement that’s occurred in the wake of sexual assault allegations against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. In the days since, IGN has not publicly responded to Plagge’s allegations, prompting some IGN employees to refuse to work until a formal statement is made.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/ywbkv7/sexual-harassment-allegations-at-ign-prompt-some-employees-to-stop-working

#2

tumblr_mjqbuvs8yB1r33r0fo1_500


#3

Allegations surfaced over the weekend that Phil Kollar of Polygon had harassed multiple women both online and in person. One woman came forward with her story of him taking advantage of her young age and vulnerability to try to force her into compromising situations. She said she knew multiple women that it’s happened to as well. Phil immediately confirmed that the story was true and said he’s seeking therapy to help with his problem.

The woman noted that she had reported the issue to Polygon who told her the results of any investigations were an internal matter. Phil has since been promoted.

The story is remarkably similar to Nick Robinson’s except that literally no one is talking about it. I only found out because of a retweet from a non-games journalist.

The silence on this has been really dispiriting. Phil seems to have a lot of friends in the industry and is definitely friends with people from this site and others I follow. I understand it puts people in extremely tough positions but for a site that has been uncompromising on this stuff in the past, it’s hard not to see the burying of this as anything but shamefully hypocritical.

Maybe you’re working on the story. In the meantime, Phil’s twitter mentions are full of dudes telling him he did nothing wrong and her mentions are full of people attacking her.


#4

I would recommend against searching Kollar’s name on Twitter, the top results are almost all sleazy, opportunistic Gamergate types.


#5

yeah while everybody knows twitter is terrible, search is even worse because it shows you stuff from people you’ve blocked


#6

Man, I don’t… fuck.

It’s all right there - if the first line of your public statement after being accused of this type of thing is “The first thing I want to say is that I don’t believe <person harassed> is a liar,” well… for fuck’s sake.

To say “I still don’t know what I did wrong,” after being explicity told the exact lines that were uncomfortable, I just…

I’ve followed Alanah for years and she is such a fantastic voice in the industry, it’s so fucking great and sad that she has to be coming forward to not let this just pass by at IGN. That company consists of so many great people, it’s great to see the ones that did come together in such a way for Kallie.

I hope we do see a day when this shit is just a memory of the past.


#7

I’m kinda shocked that IGN top brass hasn’t put out a statement yet. This shouldn’t be that hard, why wouldn’t you want to distance yourself from this bullshit as quickly as possible? why wouldn’t you condemn the actions of a bunch of nightmare people who don’t even work for you any more? Why in the world is this taking so long? The content creators for IGN have already put out a statement, and that is nice, but the longer it takes before management speaks up, the more it seems like they are hiding behind their journalists and relying on them to put out the message. That fucking sucks, yo.


#8

I’m really glad to hear of people acting in solidarity with victims. It’s easy to just get so upset at injustice that we don’t know what to do, but when people go on strike in solidarity and/or put out statements seeking justice, it’s a little heartening. Betrayal and heartache and rage are the natural emotions to feel in times like these, but I think it’s more important to prevent burnout and focus on the people who are acting toward a better world, and try to follow their examples.


#9

This is one of those things that is very bad but the fact that its getting out, and that people are standing in solidarity, is good. It’s not as though the harassment wasn’t happening before now, but now people are becoming aware of it. It’s super amazing and good that the staff is acting in solidarity.

I’m hoping something might still come out of sexual harassment allegations made about Naughty Dog as well, and that outlets like Waypoint don’t let people forget and do what they can to hold Naughty Dog accountable (admittedly not a lot).


#10

Because if no one knows about it then you don’t have to say anything about it.

If what happened with Nick had not blown up the way it had I’m now willing to bet that it would have just been swept under the rug as well. Companies are not people, they exist to make money. If someone is making the company enough money and the company can easily dismiss serious faults with said person they will.

I thought Polygon was different and considered some the senior staff there to be well rounded individuals who would not put up with shit like this but clearly I was mistaken.

This is why you don’t talk to just HR about things of this nature. Go public and make it known so they have no choice but to address it publicly. HR is there to help employees up until the needs of the company supersede that and maintaining a good PR image is one of those needs.


#11

I think this is not true of all (or even necessarily most) HR. The problem is you very likely do not know which you are dealing with when you are put in a position where you actually need their support.


#12

I’m sure it’s different from organization to organization, but in my agency’s annual ethics training, they make it clear that, for managers at least, HR’s main function is to make sure we are dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s so if we take an action towards an employee it won’t get overturned on a technicality.

Re: Phil Kollar, he’s always been publicly, awkwardly flirty on Twitter, so it’s not surprising to me that he’s awkwardly flirty in DMs, too. Still, should one instance of excessive, awkward flirting, with no apparent threats or coersion, be enough for someone to lose their job? It seems like after she blocked him, he stopped contacting her. I don’t know. It was obviously bad judgment, but also seems like pretty run of the mill misreading the tea leaves. Of course, these types of things are rarely isolated incidents.


#13

The issue is A) there’s a pattern of him doing this to multiple people and B) “excessive and awkward” is still excessive. If someone tells you “no, I’m not interested” then the only proper reaction is to back the fuck off.

Considering where he is at in Polygon, I still think there’s an issue with leveraging his relative position in the gaming community to even talk with these women in the first place.


#14

The continued silence on Kollar by this site and others about Kollar is massively, massively disappointing.


#15

Part of me wonders what would have happened had the allegations against Max Temkin come to light now instead of years ago.

For those who don’t know, a while back Max was accused of sexual assault and it just went nowhere. He put out a statement saying that he could sue the woman for libel but wouldn’t because he’s such a good guy. He also said that he was a victim because this would follow him for the rest of his life(guess what, it didn’t, he’s doing just great). Patrick even still talks to him on Twitter! I wonder if Phil will receive a similar clean slate.


#16

Austin follows the person in question who brought up Kollar’s behavior, try to contact Austin via Twitter or email with any info you have. I don’t think they check these forums on the reg, and as I mentioned, most Twitter search results for the subject are muddied by scumbags.

I guarantee the Waypoint staff aren’t deliberately ignoring this.


#17

Yeah, that’s really the long and short of it, isn’t it?


#18

He knows:

(edit: second one ↑)


#19

Hey everyone, we’re just touching base because we’re worried this might begin to verge into rule 10 territory.
If and when Waypoint as a site directly covers allegations we can add them in to the conversation. Until then we believe that going further and further afield with speculation can wind up compromising the safety and security of victims.
For now we’d appreciate it if you stick to what’s covered in the article as much as possible. Thanks!


#20

This has bothered me so much for so long. The accusations against Temkin were swept aside so completely, and he still gets to parade around as the Prankster Boy Prince, Patron Saint of Podcast Sponsorship, Champion of Women in STEM and friend to all of gaming and alt comedy.

It super sucks.