Everyrealm, a prominent metaverse company boasting support from celebrities like Will Smith and Paris Hilton, has reached settlements in three lawsuits, including cases of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Allegations of Harassment and Discrimination
Former strategic partnership director, Teyo Johnson, accused Everyrealm’s CEO, Janine Yorio, of engaging in verbal sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Johnson further alleged that derogatory comments were made against black employees, raising serious concerns about workplace ethics.
Discrimination Based on Disabilities
The company faced another allegation from former HR director Katherine Yost, who claimed she experienced discrimination due to her disabilities. Additionally, a lawsuit filed by former product manager Gatsby Frimpong alleged instances of sexual harassment within the organization.
Company’s Response and Board Statement
In response to the allegations, Everyrealm’s board expressed unwavering confidence in CEO Janine Yorio’s ethical leadership and effectiveness. The board stated that the allegations did not align with Yorio’s character or reflect the company’s culture. However, the settlements have led to the company paying a total of $127,000 to address the claims.
High-Profile Backing and Crypto Investment
Everyrealm’s reputation garnered support from prominent figures in the entertainment industry, with celebrity backing from Will Smith, The Weeknd, Paris Hilton, and Marc Anthony. In addition to celebrity endorsements, the company received investments from well-known crypto-native investors, including a16z, Coinbase, Lightspeed Ventures, and Animoca Brands.
Addressing Workplace Issues
The settlements and allegations shed light on the importance of creating inclusive and respectful work environments within the rapidly expanding metaverse industry. Companies operating in this space must proactively address issues related to harassment, discrimination, and disability accommodation to ensure the well-being of their employees and uphold ethical standards.
Celebrities’ Influence and Responsibility
The involvement of high-profile celebrities in metaverse projects brings both benefits and responsibilities. While celebrity endorsements can increase visibility and credibility, it also places a spotlight on the organization’s practices and culture. Celebrities must be cognizant of the impact their endorsements can have on their fans and advocate for ethical business conduct.
Everyrealm’s journey in the metaverse industry has been marked by both success and challenges. As a company backed by influential celebrities and crypto investors, it has enjoyed significant support. However, the recent lawsuits and settlements serve as a reminder that addressing workplace issues is crucial for building a positive and inclusive company culture. The metaverse’s evolution will be shaped not only by innovative technology but also by the ethical standards upheld by its key players.