Former Naughty Dog Employee Comes Forward About Sexual Abuse Cover-up

Naughty Dog

An ex-Naughty Dog employee has come forward to share allegations that he was sexually harassed while working for the game developer, an incident that he says resulted in his termination.

David Ballard, the former environment artist and multiplayer level layout artist for Naughty Dog, was employed at the company for several years before he says he was sexually harassed in 2015. Ballard worked on several of the Uncharted games as well as The Last of Us during his time with the company until he was terminated in 2016. The former employee has been unemployed since his firing, a termination that he says was directly related to him being a victim of sexual harassment.

Ballard shared his story via Twitter through a series of several tweets, the full statement from the messages found below:

“In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward.

In February 2016 I had a mental breakdown at work & Sony Playstation HR became involved. When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day. They cited the company was moving in a different direction and my job was no longer needed.

They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. I declined to sign. I have been unemployed for 17 months since. When interviewers ask why I left Naughty Dog, I say I was burned out by the crunch, ashamed to get to the root of the problem of being sexually harassed.

I’m speaking out now because of the strength I’ve seen in others coming forward about their experiences in the TV/Film industry. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I will not let anyone kill my drive or love for the video game industry, my passions or life.”

Ballard is one of several figures in the entertainment industry to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse following the Harvey Weinstein controversy. Naughty Dog and Sony have not yet issued a response to Ballard’s claims.