Report: Quantic Dream Suing French Media Over Articles About Toxic Work Conditions
Quantic Dream, the developer behind the upcoming Detroit: Become Human, was accused earlier this year of toxic work conditions at its studio that included homophobic, sexist, and racist behavior. These reports came to light through a series of articles from French publications. Despite Quantic Dream's CEO and founder David Cage adamantly denying the allegations, the news quickly spread across media worldwide, with Le Monde journalist William Audureau saying he had been "blacklisted" by Sony for his coverage on the subject.
Now, several months later, a report from Kotaku says that Cage and his studio are suing French outlets Le Monde and Mediapart who put together these articles. Kotaku journalist Jason Schreier says he learnt about the lawsuit in an "unusual fashion," when he happened to be in Paris at the same time this was unfolding. He was supposed to meet with Audureau, but was then told the meeting had to be rescheduled because Audureau was "caught up in court." Despite Schreier's publisher not knowing the details, one of Sony's PR handlers let it slip when another Kotaku reporter questioned them about it. "We are suing their journalists," Sony PR said, according to Kotaku.
When Kotaku caught up with Audureau finally, he confirmed the lawsuit but didn't elaborate much. “The story has been written sincerely, following a well-documented, thorough investigation, respectful of the principle that both sides must be heard,” Audureau told Kotaku. “We stick with our information."
A third French media outlet, Canard PC, which collaborated with Le Monde and Mediapart for the story is not being sued. A month after these allegations were made public, Quantic Dream called it a "smear campaign" and that legal action was underway.
The first court hearing will occur in June. We've reached out to Sony and will update this article should we hear back.
In court, these French outlets will have to prove that their reporting was fair. These legal matters, however, often take time to reach a resolution. It's up to the judge to decide if the evidence and employee accounts used in these articles are accurate and portrayed in good faith, rather than for a smear campaign.