rooster teeththe entertainment, sci-fi and games division of Warner Bros.
Kdin Jenzen, who worked at Rooster Teeth from 2013 until his departure earlier this year, posted a A blog post of 2257 words Saturday details her experience at the company. Jenzen was a producer and director who worked primarily on RT’s gaming group Achievement Hunter.
Within a few weeks of starting work at Rooster Teeth, Jenzen wrote: “Every day I came to work I was called ‘F’g– but they couldn’t use that name in the content, so when anyone was signing up, I was called “Fugz” instead.” Janzen said they have reported using the alias to HR for years, but “nothing has been done about it.”
Anytime I talked about abuse or that ‘the mockery of people in the content just encourages the community to hate us’ – she waves at me ‘It’s just a joke! Ignore the comments! “
In 2016, after Janzen appeared as a trans, as “things went wrong” inside Rooster Teeth. While my co-workers stopped calling her “Fugz,” during that time “my acting director started harassing me and lying to the community any time it was ‘planned for me to be in front of the camera and unable to attend,’” according to Jenzen, after reaching out to the department Human Resources for Problem Solving, “The way I was treated has not changed at all but is actively getting worse.”
Additionally, Jenzen said they were not paid for voiceover work they did from February to November 2013 while at RT, including voicing May Marigold for the company’s “RWBY” animated series. Jenzen said she was underpaid by her co-workers and by industry standards. “I am still recovering from this debt now because Rooster Teeth has been underpaying me for years and my boss froze my increases at the time and because of that I didn’t get a proper raise so I quit earlier this year,” Jenzen wrote that She uses her pronouns. Jenzen said that as of the end of 2020, they were getting paid about $40,000 a year as a producer/director — about $30,000 less than the “lowest-paid person next to me.”
Jenzen said her Rooster Teeth hours were at one point routinely from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and that demands on staff have gotten more extreme during the COVID pandemic.
“A bunch of good people. Bad company,” Jenzen concluded in this post.
in Sunday statement issued“We are disappointed to hear of anyone who has experienced pain from previous experiences working at Rooster Teeth and supporting the resolution of personal conflicts through direct and honest dialogue,” said Rooster Teeth.
Rooster Teeth admitted that since its inception in 2003 “we have faced inevitable mistakes and personal challenges” and said, “Many individuals at Rooster Teeth have acknowledged personal responsibility for their actions both internally and externally”.
In response to Jenzen’s post, Rooster Teeth co-founder Jeff Ramsey shared a long post on Twitter Apologies to Jensen. “What’s long and short is that I really sucked it,” Ramsay wrote. “I was a bad, self-loathing excuse for the ‘comedian’, who only knew how to express myself by embodying that feeling under the guise of erotic comedy.” He said he “didn’t quite understand this about myself until I got real.” Ramsey said he privately apologized to Jenzen in 2016 and 2020.
Rooster Teeth said in its statement that it has taken several steps in the past two years “to drive structural improvement.” “Our dedication to change has included the valuable input of many team members across the company, Kdin is one, and we are grateful for their cooperation,” RT said.
Meanwhile, Rooster Teeth has confirmed the reports that it has recently laid off workers. “[W]The company said the company had to make tough decisions to reduce a few roles in select divisions to adapt to market realities, adding that the cuts “do not amount to a significant reduction in overall headcount.”
Rooster Teeth is a division of Warner Bros. Discovery, following Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia earlier this year. Rooster Teeth has been led by General Manager Jordan Levine, a veteran television executive, since September 2019.
Read Rooster Teeth’s full statement:
As a nearly 20-year-old company that started in the early days of online video and has grown rapidly along with the rise of internet culture, we have faced inevitable mistakes and personal challenges. 2020 was a year of broad societal change that brought our attention to past behaviors. Many individuals at Rooster Teeth have acknowledged personal responsibility for their actions both internally and externally. We as a company seized that moment to seize the opportunity to respond and improve.
Over the past two years, we’ve talked about challenges with the community, pledged to do things better, and implemented internal actions to promote structural improvement. Specifically, we are beginning to introduce new leadership to lead this inner work. This led to the involvement of DEI Consultant, a management firm specializing in cultural growth and workplace change, external HR support, and external management training consultants. Additionally, we used an external compensation tool in 2020 to review our internal pay ranges and completed an initial pay parity review in 2021. As our organization continues to evolve, this will be an ongoing exercise and effort.
Our dedication to change has ensured the valuable input of many team members across the company, as one, and we are grateful for their cooperation. We hold ourselves accountable, and everyone in the organization has committed to establishing the Rooster Teeth Way – a comprehensive and ambitious set of values and behaviors that underpin our purpose and vision – carefully crafted with the input of the entire company. These values are reinforced through workshops and management training, employee business resource groups (BRGs), increased channels for feedback, both direct and anonymous, and immediate action when necessary.
Leadership, management, and employees across the company have evolved over the past two decades to build what we believe is a safe and inclusive workplace. We are disappointed to hear from anyone who has experienced the pain of past experiences working at Rooster Teeth and supporting the resolution of personal conflicts through direct and honest dialogue. The new leadership worked to address and investigate past behaviour, recognizing that mediation is complex and does not guarantee a perfect solution.
We are committed to listening to every aspect of every dispute and acting within our authority to uphold our company’s values and behaviors. Out of respect for all parties, the company will not comment publicly on these matters. Many employees who have expressed past grievances choose to continue working with us, and we continue to encourage them to share their stories as they please.
In recognition of employee turnover, we are not immune to the disruptive forces that affect every business and workplace today. Like many other companies, we’re seeing people leave to pursue different career paths and opportunities, while others make bigger life changes. In addition, external economic pressures have affected some of our business units. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions to reduce a few roles in selected divisions to adapt to the realities of the market.
While these targeted actions do not amount to a significant reduction in the overall headcount, it is still difficult to lay off anyone at any time. Since our work is largely based on projects, with different shows and channels being created and finalized, we hope to continue working with many of these people in the future. We are proud of the work they have done and we also pride ourselves on being the place for artists and entertainers extraordinarily long stints in the entertainment world. Some of them are already working on new projects that you will see soon.
Openness and transparency are fundamental to our growth and dedication to doing better. We can’t imagine this being easy for anyone in our community to read and hope that even if you question your support, it will stay with the people you’ve met through the common interest of who we are. We truly believe in the progress our team has made over the past two years, stand by our words and our actions, and point to the work we have done and continue to do to acknowledge past transgressions, even though the work is not finished. As we mature into our 20th year, we will continue to move forward together as a passionate, creative company and community with open hearts and minds.