Rioters For Change, a group of Riot Games employees that promote responsible behavior at the company, ammended its stance on the allegations of sexual harassment made against CEO Nicolo Laurent in a tweet Thursday.
After Riot Games revealed new evidence during a request for a status conference concerning former employee Sharron O’Donnell’s legal case against Laurent, Rioters For Change acknowledged the possibility that her sexual harassment claims may be false. This reverses a statement Rioters for Change made in early February after news of O’Donnell’s lawsuit went public.
“It is our belief that false accusations, especially those against those in positions of power, are quite rare,” Rioters For Change wrote in its statement. “However, it would be remiss for us not to address that evidence has arisen that may place O’Donnell’s claims against a Riot executive into question.”
The judge granted an ex-parte status conference on Wednesday, and the same day O’Donnell filed additional, second-hand allegations against Laurent, all of which Riot Games slammed as “falsehoods.” Furthermore, Riot accused O’Donnell of “witness tampering, harassment, and threatening behavior” toward women who had defended Laurent against her initial allegations.
Rioters For Change added that abuse should not be ignored, regardless of this situation’s outcome, in their updated statement.
“False claims cause distrust toward valid accusations,” Rioters For Change wrote. “As always, we stand with those who make Riot the company that it is, with or without higher-level leadership.”
Rioters For Change
Rioters For Change as a group joined Twitter in May of 2019, and the unofficial organization has released statements on several incidents and decisions surrounding the company. Along with its statements on the Laurent lawsuit, the group has also commented on past issues, such as the League of Legends European Championship’s decision to partner with NEOM in July of 2020. The Saudi Arabian state-sponsored city development has drawn widespread criticism for its handling of LGBTQ issues.
The group champions progressive causes such as workers rights, labor unions, social justice and equality. They have in the past been almost entirely critical of Riot Games and advocated for employees, which makes Thursday’s departure from that tone significant.