Whoever hired scantily dressed dancers for an Xbox party this week may be polishing his resume about now. A top executive at Microsoft, which owns Xbox, has called the decision "unacceptable" and promises a full investigation, the Seattle Times reports. "When we heard about this and saw the photos, the entire Senior Leadership Team was embarrassed and appalled," says Microsoft HR chief Kathleen Hogan in an email. "We are not going to tolerate this." The issue came to light in social media posts from the "invitation only" party Thursday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where photos and video showed the dancers in schoolgirl outfits, NBC Bay Area reports. "Thanks for pushing me out of this party, Microsoft," reads part of one tweet. "Very disappointed to see this," says another.
The video game industry is already reputed to be a sexist "boys' club" where men hold more than 75% of the jobs and women are discouraged from seeking employment, the Wrap reports. CNET recalls that even Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, has said women should wait for raises rather than requesting them "because that's good karma." He later apologized, and Microsoft held a Women in Games luncheon earlier Thursday at the conference. As for the Xbox party, heads may yet roll: "That was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated," says Xbox chief Phil Spencer. "Let me be very clear ... who we hire and partner with and how we engage with others is a direct reflection of our brand and what we stand for." (A study shows that bad male gamers are more likely to harass women.)