Detroit: Become Human is an upcoming game about what it means to be human, as well as what happens when discriminated people speak up. Funny, then, that the makers of the game, Quantic Dream, have been accused of creating an environment where sexist and racist jokes thrive. Unfortunately, this isn't the first instance where a toxic culture has been exposed in the gaming industry. But here's where things take a turn: not only has Quantic Dream vehemently denied the reports, it's now suing the media for outing its toxicity.
French newspaper Le Monde, website Mediapart, and other website Canard PC broke the story of Quantic Dream's harmful workplace conditions back in January. According to a report by Kotaku, the three outlets worked together on the story, seeking out former employees and sharing their stories. Examples of incidents were management repeatedly making racist and sexual jokes and one employee who enjoyed photoshopping his coworkers onto nude bodies or as Nazis.
From there, the story goes as it usually goes with these sorts of situations. Quantic Dream denied the stories, going as far as to call them a "smear campaign." David Cage, the CEO and one of the people specifically called out for racist statements, tried to use his associations as evidence of his innocence. “Do we want to talk about homophobia?” he said. “We work with Ellen Page, who is fighting for LGBT rights. Do we want to talk about racism? We are working with Jesse Williams, who is fighting for civil rights in the United States... Judge my work.”
In addition to denying any wrongdoing, Quantic Dream promised legal action. Then, the story went quiet for a while. That was until Kotaku writers discovered that Quantic Dream was indeed suing Le Monde and Mediapart. The details of the lawsuits are sketchy at the moment, as Kotaku's contacts at the French outlets didn't want to say too much while still wrapped up in litigation. For some reason, Canard PC got away with nothing but a few threatening letters.
Now, the sued outlets are tasked with claiming that they did all their homework. That they were proper journalists and told the story in a fair and balanced way that offered all parties' perspectives. Le Monde's William Audureau seems to think they did, saying to Kotaku, “The story has been written sincerely, following a well-documented, thorough investigation, respectful of the principle that both sides must be heard. We stick with our information.”