My final words on Rooster Teeth & just SOME of my experiences there.
I’ve been waiting to say anything directly for a long time on this subject in hopes that something - anything - would change and get better, but it’s obvious that this is just “how it is there.”
So it’s time for me to finally say something about Rooster Teeth.
I joined the company, officially, as a contracted content creator and editor in February 2013. I worked to create a monthly video game news/release series. I produced episodes every month until I was officially hired as a full time content creator/editor in November of 2013.
From February 2013 until November 2013, I went entirely unpaid for all of my contract work. I was never given the payment promised for anything I did. When I was hired full time and I brought that up, I was told that “it’s been so long already, it’s not really a big deal is it?” And then the subject was never brought up again.
Within a few weeks of working at Rooster Teeth I was given a nickname, that nickname was a slur. Every day I came into work I was called “F*gg*t” - but they could not use that name in content so when anyone was recording I was called “Fugz” instead. For any fans who used that nickname for me for years, that’s what you were calling me. I couldn’t say anything about it, I had reported the use of that nickname for years to HR, and nothing was ever done about it and the videos that use that nickname for me are still up.
When Christmas rolled around my first year, 2013, I was given a “bonus” of about $100. Any money I had at the time was extremely helpful as I had nearly nothing to my name, so I was grateful for it. But a long time member of the company looked at me as I was handed my small bonus and scoffed “Why do YOU get a bonus? You’ve only been here for five minutes.”
In my first years there I would arrive at work around 7am (two hours before everyone else) to begin editing videos and would often have to stay until 9pm to get as much work done as possible. This was actively encouraged so we could have a backlog of content, but I was always given “rush orders” to edit more important videos to go out either the same day or next day. That’s when the crunch began for me and it did not end.
From that point on harassment started, and not just toward me. Any time I brought up mistreatment or that “making fun of people in content only encourages the community to hate us” - I was waved away saying “IT’S JUST A JOKE! Ignore the comments!”
This “ignore the comments” mantra was a way to excuse their own behavior. Anyone who was not “important” was constantly made fun of with no way to defend themselves or be part of the content in a way to defend themself even jokingly so. We were silenced at every turn.
Jeremy, Matt, and I tried to make content together as often as we could in those earlier days. And we rarely got the chance to do so. I remember being yelled at for making the Zelda video with Matt after it had already gone up because it was a “waste of time”.
During that time I was put into a position where I ignored my own physical health to focus more on work, which eventually caused me to come down with pneumonia. I spent several days in the hospital with a fever over 112F. When I was released I was back to work only a few days later and with the same work schedule.
Eventually I had enough from the department I was working for at the time and moved departments in hope that I would be better treated elsewhere in the company. I still loved the work I did, I loved some of the people at the company, and I believed that if I put my effort into it I could make things better for everyone.
The department I transferred to promised me a producer job and show running their new podcast while also being tasked to edit videos and sometimes write stories for news channel. I was never given the producer position in that department, I was never allowed even near the podcast unless they were “desperate for a last minute person”, I went entirely uncredited for anything I wrote for them, and I was pushed to edit 3 videos from start to finish every day with little to no turn around time so they could be posted immediately.
My hours in that department were 7am until 11pm.
I was crunching harder than before.
I wasn’t allowed to be in anything.
I had my name removed from everything I worked on.
I was put in an office where I was forgotten about and swept under the rug, people even IN the company forgot I worked there with how sectioned off and pushed aside I was.
In 2016 I came out as trans and many people at the company publicly voiced their support on social media.
Inside the company however, things got worse.
People had no idea how to deal with a trans woman, so I was interacted with even less and only trotted out every so often to show off “We Hire LGBTQIA+ People!”
It was only at this point where the nickname “Fugz” finally stopped being used all the time. Three years of content with that name being used toward me and all that content is still up.
During that time my acting manager began to harass me and lie to the community any time I was “planned to be on camera and couldn’t show up” - many times it was said to the audience watching that I “had already gone home” when I was in the other room crunching to finish my job and the work of my manager.
The harassment continued and I began to spiral into a deep depression, wondering what I could do, I eventually reported it to HR and the “solution” was that they brought in my manager who was harassing me into a Two-On-One meeting where the manager said “oh I’m sorry” and that was it. The way I was treated did not change at all and actively became worse.
I then went to one of the founding fathers of the company to express my concerns, and was told that I was “too nice to work at Rooster Teeth” and that I should “just quit and find somewhere else to work” - I was horrified.
At the moment I couldn’t do anything but feel horrified and powerless. I was an out trans woman in Texas in 2018 and was told “just quit and find work elsewhere in Texas” a state that actively finds ways to keep our rights from us.
Throughout my employment I also struggled to get the company insurance to cover my transition despite Rooster Teeth telling me that “Oh it’s all good” - because of their inaction and lack of help in this matter I amassed horrible amounts of medical debt despite being “completely covered” by them.
I still am recovering from this debt now as Rooster Teeth has been underpaying me for years, my raises were frozen by my manager at the time, and because of that I never received a proper raise even up until I quit earlier this year.
Until the end of 2020 I was paid around $40k per year as a Producer/Director. Far below the industry standard. If not for the help of one person fighting for me to be paid properly, I wouldn’t have gotten bumped up to the pay of the lowest paid person next to me. Which was nearly $70k. I was shocked that I was being underpaid by nearly $30k.
During the 2019 layoffs, I was actually one of the people affected. I was very nearly laid off as well, but was told to either move to LA and work there (at the $40k per year rate which is UNLIVABLE in LA) or be laid off immediately.
I agreed to move to LA, Rooster Teeth said they would be giving me $5k moving costs to pick up my life and move to LA by March of 2020. The money never was given to me and then COVID forced the company into moving to remote, meaning my job was actually saved by COVID happening.
Crunch during the height of COVID was monstrous. Every department was forced to push out more and more content and do more and more work to make up for “losses” - many of us were working 7 days a week and extremely long hours.
I helped run the 2021 Anniversary Stream Event, but in the middle of production I had to undergo life saving surgery and was told I needed AT LEAST two weeks rest before going back to work. The person I was working with to schedule that event took credit for all the work I did up to that point and then BLAMED ME for anything that went wrong with it because “I wasn’t doing my job” while I was recovering for major surgery and was on mandated medical leave.
BRGs (Business Resource Groups) were created at this time to help with representation issues inside the company. I did everything I could to help the other BRGs as well as the Queer BRG I helped lead. By mid 2021 I was told “we’ve done enough for the queer community” - which hurt to hear as I felt like we had barely accomplished anything and were still struggling to have accurate representation on screen as most of our PRIDE stream events featured mostly Cis/Het talent still.
During this time there was a lot of outspokenness for the mistreatment of minority groups inside of Rooster Teeth from former employees, lots of fans asked “Why didn’t you all do anything about it?”, to which I say actual ground level employees did everything they could. But we could only do so much.
At that moment I asked for transparency for how others, not just one or two employees, were treated in the company - myself included - and was essentially told that “the company is going through a lot right now just leave it alone”. How I was being treated and how others were being treated was once again swept under the rug.
I left Rooster Teeth because, despite thinking I could make positive change in the company, they proved that I couldn’t every step of the way. From 2013 until 2022, I did what I could to help my fellow employees, make positive change, and help the industry.
It’s also worth mentioning that for every bit of VO I did before I left Rooster Teeth, I wasn’t actually paid for any of it under the idea that “I was an employee, so I don’t need to be paid for VO.” In that case and the way it was viewed, I was paid less than $30 per hour for each of my VO sessions. Which is well below any industry standard.
But I was ultimately silenced and pushed aside.
This is all really just the surface level, there’s so much more I want to say but honestly it’s all so exhausting at this point and I’ve done everything I can.
I still struggle regularly with the emotional, mental, physical, and financial damage that was done to me over those years.
There are good people still working there, I’m friends with them, and I wish them the best.
- Feb 2013 - Nov 2013. Unpaid Contract Work
- Fugz = F*gg*t, reported to HR nothing was done
- 2013 Christmas "Bonus" $100. Long time members disapproved of said bonus
- 14hr work days, rush orders for same or next day videos
- "Any time I brought up mistreatment or that “making fun of people in content only encourages the community to hate us” - I was waved away saying “IT’S JUST A JOKE! Ignore the comments!”"
RT crunch caused pneumonia, no recovery period on return
- Crunched harder, physically isolated "people even IN the company forgot I worked"
- RT never fulfilled their deals promotion deals
- 15 hr work days
- 2016 came out as Trans, Transphobia harassment started
- Acting Manager lied to the community and harassed me, HR did nothing and enabled harassment
- Founding Fathers knew and did nothing. Said “too nice to work at Rooster Teeth” and "just quit and find somewhere else to work"
- RT did not properly support medical insurance coverage
- End 2020 Position Producer/Director, paid $40k. Next lowest paid person was $70k.
- 2019, forced to move to LA or get laid off. RT never paid moving costs. COVID forced remote jobs thus SAVING my job
- RT INCREASES crunch during COVID
- 2021 Anniversary Stream Event. Had LIFE SAVING surgery, majority work stolen by coworker and blamed production failures on me during MEDICAL LEAVE.
- BRG created to help with representation issues, mid 2021 RT said "we've done enough for the queer community" PRIDE stream events still mostly Cis/Het talents
- Mistreatment of minorities in RT ignored "“the company is going through a lot right now just leave it alone"
- Unpaid for VO work during tenure at RT, May Marigold and RWBY Fairy Tales included.
Handful of good people. Bad Company.