IGN, one of the world’s most popular destinations for video game news, has fired its editor-in-chief after investigating him for allegations that he harassed another employee.
“IGN initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct involving Steve Butts,” the publication’s general manager Mitch Galbraith said in a statement to Kotaku. “As a result of the investigation, the Company has appropriately determined to part ways with Mr. Butts.”
News of Butts’ dismissal comes two months after former IGN employee Kallie Plagge accused former IGN editor Vince Ingenito of sexually harassing her and at least one other female employee over several months in 2016. She alleged that IGN’s HR department failed to act on the complaints, and instead promoted him months later.
Ingenito left the company in March 2017.
The allegations prompted many of IGN’s front-facing employees to stage a public boycott, refusing to work until the company issued a statement and apology regarding Plagge’s allegations.
There won’t be a Daily Fix today because a large group of IGN employees have refused to work until the company issues a statement/apology regarding what happened to Kallie Plagge.
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) November 13, 2017
In the week following her allegations, IGN’s editorial staff conducted meetings into the allegations, and released a public statement committing to “fix what is broken” within the company.
Kotaku learned that during one of the meetings, an employee accused Butts of harassment. While the accuser did not share details of the alleged harassment, IGN began an investigation into the allegations and placed Butts on home-duty.
A source told Kotaku that Butts was made to work from home for the duration of the investigation, which was conducted throughout November and December.
Kallie Plagge, the former employee who lodged a complaint against Ingenito, told Kotaku’s Jason Schreier that the boss she felt mishandled the situation was Steve Butts. Schreier reports:
“He told me, ‘Don’t be so uptight about it,’” she said then. “As I said on Twitter, he would also say things like ‘I just want this unpleasantness to be over,’ like we were causing him a lot of problems.”