Kotaku has extensive coverage of the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Stardock by its former marketing manager, and Stardock’s apparently vindictive countersuit blaming the woman filing the lawsuit for the failure of Elemental.
The most interesting part of the Kotaku story are the emails exchange between Wardell and the marketing manager, Alexandra Miseta. After an incident at dinner while Miseta and Wardell were promoting Elemental in San Francisco, Miseta was upset enough to write a letter outlining both specific things that upset her and outlining in extraordinarily clear terms how she expected that behavior to change,
1. Please never touch my hair or any of my body parts; not even jokingly.
2.Please do not talk about my private life or about my boyfriend/future husband in any terms especially negative terms.
3. Please be careful with your “jokes” which are at many times inappropriate, sexist, vulgar and very embarrassing not only to me, but everyone present.
4. Please keep your negative personal opinions of others (including family members and/or coworkers) not present at the time of your comments, to yourself. I feel, at times, it puts me in a very uncomfortable position.
With the above few behavioral changes, I’m hoping our previously friendly and professional relationship can be reestablished. My goal from day one (June 04, 2007) has been to work for this company 110% and to work together with my peers to build a high quality, successful company. I would like to continue to work with you in the future and keep striving towards that very goal.
This is an extremely professional email which speaks highly of Miseta. She is bending over backwards to try to amicably resolve apparently long-standing issues that have bothered her. If I received an email like this from a subordinate, I would go out of my way to acknowledge Ms. Miseta’s concerns and work through this in a professional manner.
Instead, Wardell responds by being an asshole (apparently he is as rude to people he work with as he is on the Stardock forums),
I don’t recall item #1 but will certainly endeavor to be extra careful.
I understand #2. I will be more conscious of this in the future.
#3, however is not acceptable to me. I am an inappropriate, sexist, vulgar, and embarrassing person and I’m not inclined to change my behavior. If this is a problem, you will need to find another job.
#4, Again, I am not willing to adapt my behavior to suit others. IF you find my behavior problematic, I recommend finding another job.
I’m not some manager or coworker of yours. I own the company. It, and your job here, exist to suit my purposes, not vice versa. The company is not an end unto itself, it is a means to an end which is to further the objectives of its shareholders (in this case, me).
What an idiot. Miseta complains that she’s tired of a hostile work environment and Wardell essentially says “tough shit — find another job if you don’t like it here.”
If you read the content of the defendant’s motion to dismiss, Miseta alleges a number of disgusting and inappropriate actions by Wardell. At one point in the Stardock offices, Miseta alleges that Wardell told her in front of her marketing team that she was to accompany him on a publicity tour “because your nipples look better on TV than mine do.”
If true, Miseta deserves everything she gets out of Stardock and the company doesn’t deserve to get a single cent from gamers.