On April 9, Quantic Dream issued a press release claiming victoriously that an exemployee who had previously sued the company had just seen all of their claims dismissed, and that the courts had confirmed that « no ‘toxic’ atmosphere prevailed in the company. »
This statement is deceitful.
The April 7 judgment does not dispute these facts. It breaks the previous judgement on a technical point: according to the new verdict, the plaintiff reacted too late, and « tacitly » accepted the photomontages by not immediately objecting to them. (Let’s all note the irony of blaming a victim for not reacting, when the victim described the pressure as overwhelming.)
Furthermore, the company mentions a unique complainant, in a logic of personal vendetta. However, it is in fact 5 exemployees who sued Quantic Dream over the last 4 years; with success for some of them.
Here are the points acknowledged by the court during the various trials :
The existence of the photomontages (which was never disputed by Quantic), described as « homophobic, misogynistic, racist, or deeply vulgar » (ruling of 11212019), « degrading » (ruling of 0922 2020), « silly and vulgar » (ruling of 01192018). The April 7 ruling does not deny these conclusions, it only states that the unique photomontage involving the complainant among 600 others was not discriminatory.
The breach of safety obligation was recognized in favor of an employee in the 07242018 ruling, on which Quantic Dream did not appeal. Thus, the court did recognize Quantic Dream was responsible as a company in the moral damages suffered by the victims. This was also recognized for a second employee, but was then overturned on April 7 because of additional reasons.
Finally, the toxic « atmosphere » was not recognized by the court since this term has no legal meaning; Quantic Dream argued in court that this atmosphere prevailed in their studio, thinking that this could be seen as a mitigating circumstance for the existence of the photomontages. (sic)
This latest statement from Quantic Dream is part of a long campaign of misinformation and legal harassment, aimed at silencing any speech that does not fit the official company narrative.
For the past 4 years, a group of employees have collectively denounced these unacceptable practices and have been subjected to attacks by the company and its media relays, a strategy that aims to discredit them as much as to scare their current staff.
These practices have themselves been decried on several occasions by the courts. They may still be going on within the studio, and we will continue to expose them. In the meantime, we offer all the support and the strength our union can provide to those employees who would like to fight them