Business

Riot Games investigating their CEO over gender discrimination allegations

Published: 9/Feb/2021 23:06 Updated: 10/Feb/2021 9:45

by Alan Bernal

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Valorant and League of Legends studio, Riot Games are investigating CEO Nicolo Laurent for gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims after a labor lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Courts.

The pending case was filed by Sharon O’Donnell January 7 in L.A.’s Stanley Mosk Courthouse, with Riot Games and Laurent attached as the two defendants.

O’Donnell was an Executive Assistant at Riot Games in 2017 and worked there until July 2020. She is now suing her former company for lost wages, medical expenses, and general damages related to her employment, outlined in the suit.

During her time at Riot, she claims she would work 10-hour days with many overtimes and weekend hauls dispersed throughout. She’s now seeking recompense for hours that have so far gone unpaid.

Nicolas Laurent Riot Games
William Audureau for Le Monde
CEO Nicolas Laurent is under investigation by Riot Games for sexual discrimination claims.

More directly, the lawsuit also claims “wrongful termination” after O’Donnell was removed from work duties after declining sexual advances by Laurent.

In response to the allegations, Riot Games announced an outside firm will conduct an investigation of the claims and will be handled by a special committee by their Board of Directors.

“Our CEO has pledged his full cooperation and support during this process, and we’re committed to ensuring that all claims are thoroughly explored and appropriately resolved,” a Riot spokesperson told VICE Games.

The company did make it a point to immediately address the claims of wrongful termination. “One subject we can address immediately is the plaintiff’s claim about their separation from Riot. The plaintiff was dismissed from the company over seven months ago based on multiple well-documented complaints from a variety of people. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Complaints against Laurent are directly in line with past investigations and lawsuits against Riot Games that claimed there was a culture of misogyny and sexual discrimination throughout the company.

riot employee walkout discrimination
Kevin_Hitt Twitter
Riot employees walked out on the company in early May 2019.

Over a hundred Riot employees walked out on May 2019 in protest of the company. 1000 female employees settled a gender discrimination lawsuit in December 2019. Riot paid out $10 million to women of the company and promised to work on creating a more inclusive environment.

In a 2020 open letter, Laurent claimed to have put himself on the chopping block asking Riot’s board to fire him if they “hadn’t made enough progress… to significantly reduce any demographic gaps in terms of Rioters’ sentiment and rate of progression” by January 2020.

O’Donnell’s’ inquiry for her July 2020 firing will last for a 12-month period in which investigations by labor commissions will investigate Laurent and Riot Games.

Entertainment

How does Addison Rae make money? TikTok star’s revenue streams explained

Published: 24/Feb/2021 16:04 Updated: 24/Feb/2021 16:27

by Adam Fitch

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When you think of the select few who are at the forefront of the current wave of influencers-turned-entertainment-giants, Addison Rae Easterling comes to mind. The TikTok star has blown up, especially over the past year, and she’s poised to make millions of dollars because of it.

The 20-year-old is traditionally a dancer, competing in the sport across the United States since the age of six. After blowing up on TikTok from, unsurprisingly, dancing, in late 2019, she’s amassed millions of followers across all major social media platforms.

The typical method of monetization for influencers comes in the form of sponsored posts and brand deals, and that certainly was the case for Addison early on. Though, after signing with talent agency WME in January 2020, she has her sights set on devising major revenue streams across multiple mediums.

From pretty standard ways of making money like advertisements on YouTube to launching her own beauty line, Addison is proof that social networks such as TikTok can serve as launchpads for a career that’s much bigger than any single platform. As she continues to expand her footprint and command higher paydays, it’s worthwhile looking at how she’s building an empire that may well set her up for life.

How Addison Rae makes money

Content

Addison Rae Mama Knows Best Podcast
Spotify
Spotify are hoping to bring more teenages to their platform with Addison Rae’s podcast.

Addison Rae is a major force in the world of content creation, it’s even been reported that she was the highest-earning TikToker in 2019. The majority of her income, which was said to be $5m that year, was from posting sponsored posts for the likes of Rebook and Fashion Nova.

When going live on TikTok, viewers can donate in the form of gifting. Addison Rae, once living in the Hype House — a collective of content creators in Los Angeles — has gone live with her friends to give further insight into her lifestyle, an enviable one for her many young fans. So, from TikTok alone, she’s made plenty from gifting and branded content deals.

Then, as you’d perhaps expect, there’s YouTube. The Google-owned video platform isn’t Addison’s main platform but she’s proven that she is a hit on there whenever she chooses to post. With 4.64m subscribers at the time of writing after posting only 16 videos, she makes money from adverts on her content and sponsorships from brands.

It’s clear that sponsored content is a big driver of revenue for the dancer, and that translates over to Instagram too. Companies such as American Eagle, Disney, and Daniel Wellington have all paid healthy sums to have a presence on her ever-popular feed.

Moving away from video content, Addison Rae signed a podcast deal with Spotify in July 2020. Published weekly, Mama Knows Best is an original audio product from the TikTok star and her mother, Sheri Nicole. The show is produced by Spotify-owned Parcast. There’s no word on how much she’s being paid for this endeavour but if it’s even a fraction of the deal Joe Rogan closed then she’s receiving handsome cheques for her weekly show.

Other ventures

Addison Rae Merchandise
Fanjoy
The internet celebrity’s merchandise range features lines based on popular phrases she coined through TikTok.

A fairly typical avenue for content creators to go down when they amass popularity is merchandise, and that’s no different with Addison Rae. She launched her own self-named merchandise store, in collaboration with Fanjoy, on May 1, 2020. Products available for purchase include clothes, phone cases, notebooks, and mugs.

An extension of her popular Instagram is a blossoming modelling career, one that was kickstarted by posing for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS brand. She found herself blown up on a billboard in New York City in some of Kardashian’s line and has since publicly spoken about how much she enjoyed the experience. As she continues to grow in popularity, she’ll be tapped to be a face of major brands.

Getting further into the world of business, Addison Rae launched a joint venture with Madeby Collective in August 2020. ITEM Beauty is a makeup line that is said to be cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. It launched with just a handful of products but that’s to be expected; you wouldn’t want to invest too much into a new business initiative just to find out it wasn’t in-demand. More products have been launched since, perhaps indicating that it was received well by her audience.

Addison Rae ITEM Beauty
ITEM
Addison Rae’s beauty line ITEM launched with a limited range but has since expanded.

Film & music

In September 2020, Addison took a major step into the world of traditional entertainment when it was announced that she had been cast in a movie. ‘He’s All That’ is a remake of the 1999 comedy ‘She’s All That’ and she’s occupying the main role. At the time of writing, she’s busy at work filming her Hollywood debut.

While not confirmed, it appears as if she has other ventures in the works too. As expected based on her desires to pursue many facets of the entertainment industry, there are rumors that she’ll soon be launching a music career, including a Nicki Minaj collab, and that she has a reality television show in the works. One thing is for certain though, and that is she has no interest in being pigeonholed — there’s no doubt she’ll make a killing financially along the way, too.