Gizmodo published a detailed report on sexual harassment, mismanagement and a dangerous work environment
By Nicole Carpenter on March 29, 2023 3:07 pm
Luxury gaming table maker Wyrmwood Gaming has been accused of creating a “dangerous” environment for its workers in a new report from technology website Gizmodo. Reporter Linda Codega spoke to around 50 current and former employees to uncover a culture they describe as one of sexual harassment, workplace misconduct and sexism — led by co-founder and CEO Doug Costella, who has been at the forefront of several allegations front is standing.
Based in Taunton, Massachusetts, Wyrmwood is known for its high-end gaming accessories and furniture, like its modular gaming tables. Co-founders Doug and Ian Costella launched the company in 2012 and successfully crowdfunded its wooden dice boxes. Wyrmwood has had a successful history with crowdfunding ever since; Over the years, it funded 23 projects on Kickstarter, the last of which raised nearly $2 million for its “first” modular table. Gizmodo said the company’s size has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wyrmwood came under fire from employees earlier this year when allegations of sexual assault surfaced on social media. When Gizmodo began investigating these claims, the publication found an extensive history of misconduct allegations. Gizmodo described an incident in 2019 in which Wyrmwood media executive Bobby Downey allegedly masturbated in front of a female employee. Workers also claimed that Downey deliberately kept women away from Wyrm Lyfe, the company’s reality-style YouTube show.
“According to sources, Downey’s excuses for not including more women include statements like ‘women aren’t as funny as men’ and ‘the women of Wyrmwood are too awkward and aggressive to be on camera,'” Gizmodo wrote .
The report also claimed that women were rarely promoted and described a hazardous work environment in which “an employee almost burned his finger on an allegedly malfunctioning machine”. The company has been fined multiple times by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Four violations are reported on the OSHA website.
Wyrmwood did not respond to Polygon’s request for comment. You can read the detailed report at Gizmodo.