Founded by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, and Jamie Selkirk in 1993 to create the digital effects for Heavenly Creatures, Weta Digital is perhaps best known for its work on Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, the New Zealand studio is coming under fire for an allegedly toxic and sexist workplace culture, triggering the launch of an independent investigation.
Allegations about Weta Digital’s workplace culture have emerged due to a months-long investigation by local news team TVNZ. New Zealand’s workplace relations minister Andrew Little has spoken up on the allegations, urging the company to carry out an independent review of the claims.
The stories from current and former staff include a culture of sharing pornographic imagery among the workplace, with staffers describing explicit mailing lists hosted on Weta Digital’s own intranet. “There was a tradition at the time called Porn Friday,” one employee told TVNZ anonymously. “Every Friday staff members would email round porn images to the whole team.”