On July 3, Lab Zero Games, a Skullgirls developer, announced that it would make a statement about lead designer Mike Zaimont who was accused of making derogatory remarks about two individuals from the world of fighting games. The comment never happened, but an independent audit has taken place according to some workers, which has uncovered a broader history of Zaimont ‘s abuse. At least three workers resigned from Lab Zero as a result of this investigation.
Public condemnation of Zaimont started in June after the dying statements of Eric Garner and George Floyd, which, he excused for apologizing for, are meant to attract attention to and not to ridicule the Black Lives Matter movements. Another concern emerged at the end of July when Bunny posted Zaimont’s DMs, Template, and Twitch Streamer because she thought they were “creepy” and “demeaning.”
Carbon Gray, the writer, and co-player said in a video that Bunny’s experience did not shock them. “Mike’s been making weird sexual comments at me in and out of cosplay at fighting game events for actual years,” Gray said. The Lab Zero Games tweeted that there is an impending announcement.
The promised declaration has never come because Zaimont, who is now obviously the owner and owns the company, did not allow it to occur, according to former leading animator and art director Mariel Kinuko Cartwright, who resigned today.
While Cartwright said she found Zaimont to be 10 years of close relationship and coworker, she said that she endured years of inappropriate abuse, unpleasant comments, and unwanted hugs and that she was blamed for his actions by Zaimont in the face of it as she cited how she had dressed.
“He once suggested that I masturbate when I told him I couldn’t sleep, and on another occasion suggested I ‘help’ him with his unfulfilled sexual needs,” Cartwright said, “I made a complaint about him during my time at Reverge Labs back in 2011. I did try to talk to him about how I was uncomfortable in 2017, and in return, he called me a hypocrite and blamed me for how I dressed. He said he didn’t want sexual harassment training. If I wanted to keep my job, I felt like I had to deal with it.”
“It’s not ‘Well, Mike is a jerk, but he’s not a bad guy,’ anymore,” said Cartwright. “It’s ‘Mike is not the person we thought he was.'”
Host Jonathan “Persona” Kim has made a similar comment, and today he resigned himself as well. According to Kim, “Mike’s behavior wasn’t just scattered incidents, but systemic signs of his overall behavior and attitude as an individual.”
Specifically, Kim notes that Zaimont reports gathered from Lab Zero employees include sometimes mention of one’s genitals, oblige unwelcome physical touches, make lewd remarks about his or her anatomy, or taunt someone secretly or publicly, or intimidate or embarrass subordinates with rather personal details if it doesn’t suit what he wants to be accomplished.
Brian “EU03” Jun, the third employee who quit, said yesterday that he was retiring. All three of the former workers state that after trying to get Zaimont to leave the company, his resignations arrive. Yet, as he has a business and has no choice other than to abandon himself, they will not consider his terms (which were “absolutely unacceptable,” Jun said).
“Instead of leaving Lab Zero peacefully, Mike refused to listen and has decided that everyone in the company, including people he’s victimized, are wrong,” said Kim. “His actions are insulting and unacceptable.”
Kim believed that Zaimont was only briefly the rightful owner because the organization was on the road to becoming an employee-owned business. If or not, the plan for Lab Zero at present is uncertain.
SkullGirl Community’s Support
And if they have been living in these horrible circumstances, the group of Skullgirls has been swift to help those who worked so tirelessly to create and offer them games. Public leaders such as top gaming competitor Dominique “SonicFox” McLean have also made commitments to provide some support for these ex-Lab Zero employees.
Given all the incidents Zaimont and Lab zero don’t own the IP for it or Indivisible, another game developed by the studio, the former Skullgirl development teams advise players to continue funding the game. Autumn games and 505 games are entitled, while Skullgirls’ web edition continues to be modernized by Secret Element Studios.