- In the past few weeks, several former Cards Against Humanity employees have shared stories detailing a toxic business culture that affected women, people of color, and members of the queer community.
- The former employees told Polygon that the company lacked a human resources department, ignored concerns about offensive game cards of people of color, and was afraid to speak or speak.
- Employees specifically called co-founder Max Temkin, who has faced sexual assault allegations, for retaliating against employees and trying to exercise complete control over their personal and work lives.
- Cards Against Humanity said in a statement Tuesday that Temkin had resigned from the company earlier that month.
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One of the Cards Against Humanity co-founders, which prides itself as “a game for horrible people,” quit the company after several former workers alleged it fostered a toxic workplace that hurt employees of color and the community. LGBTQ.
Cards Against Humanity said in a statement Tuesday that Max Temkin, the co-founder who led operations at the Chicago office, had resigned from his position earlier this month. Temkin’s departure and CAH’s announcement follow weeks of former employees who shared stories on social media, and an extensive exposition released by Polygon on Tuesday containing even more accusations.
CAH, both as a card game and as a company, has prided itself on its subversive and punchless attitude. Beyond the card game, known as an explicit version of the “Apples to Apples” game, the company has engaged in wild and performative stunts. Black Friday, in particular, has been a day for those jokes. In 2016, people paid more than $ 100,000 for CAH to dig a hole. For last year’s stunt, CAH said it would fire participating employees if they lost a letter writing competition against an AI (the writers ended up winning).
Combined with its success as a multi-billion dollar company, CAH employees reportedly feared speaking out or reporting problematic behaviors for fear of retaliation by the leadership, Polygon reports.
More than 20 former employees told Polygon about multiple incidents where concerns and suggestions from people of color were blatantly dismissed. Black employees were often tasked with explaining to their coworkers why certain cards were offensive, according to Polygon. In one case, the lead writers allegedly wanted to add a card to the game that contained a racial slur towards blacks.
Additionally, the former employees said CAH lacked a human resources department, a fact that turned into an “open joke” at the office. The company said in the statement Tuesday that it had designated a “dedicated human resources contractor” in January 2019.
CAH’s statement, posted on the company’s website, is lengthy. The company reviews each of Polygon’s allegations one by one, defending its actions in some situations and acknowledging a history of making “many mistakes.”
In the Polygon piece, employees specifically named Temkin as a “harbinger” of the toxic crop at CAH. This is not the first time that Temkin has faced allegations of problematic behavior: In 2014, a woman alleged that Temkin sexually assaulted her when they were both college students. At the time, Temkin replied that the allegations were “totally, patently false.”
CAH said Temkin resigned from office on June 9, although he remains an eighth shareholder in the company.
Cards Against Humanity is just one of the companies that has recently faced allegations of alleged sexist and racist company cultures. Many stories have emerged from past and current employees of fitness brands like CrossFit and Adidas, tech companies like Snapchat and Pinterest, media publishers like Refinery29 and Bon Appétit, and dozens of other companies.