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Aaron Ehasz: A thread of Abuse and Gaslighting.
Once upon a time I worked at a studio with Aaron. Actually I worked there before he did.
I was skeptical when he came in because he had no experience, but was to lead us creatively. But hey! That doesn’t mean he can’t be good? Right?
I found out that maybe he was good in some ways... but definitely not in others.

He was an entitled abuser.
He came into the company and I thought maybe it wasn’t his fault. He was told that he had cart blanche to change things.

Let me tell you dear reader, that is never how things work.
I was told that I was to help him transition into games. I sympathized with him. He came TV/Film. It’s a very different space.

Aaron took that to mean something different. Actually he assumed the rules were different for him OVERALL.
At my time I saw him bring his children to work and leave them with random lady production staff to look after without asking.

He assumed it was fine.
That was surprising and terrible.
Personally, he was told I was to help him. In his mind that apparently meant I was to be a PERSONAL ASSISTANT.

I was an Editor.
My job was to work with narrative and enforce a style and make sure things stayed consistent. I took my job very seriously.
Aaron had me do small tasks like arrange his meetings, personally remind him about his appointments, and try and arrange things for his convenience.
At every point of my REAL JOB, which was editing, he ignored me.
He even took editing away and made it a group activity that everyone did on a projector on the wall.
I voiced how this is NOT how you do my job, and he didn’t care. He kept doing it. I put up with things till the point that I made a correction on something very politely.

He told me dismissively “Editing should not get in the way of writing”
I was stunned. I have never been so insulted in my life. I wasn’t trying to shade anyone, I was trying to do my job as it was laid out.
From then I didn’t speak out. Until one day I saw something and started to talk about a correction then stopped myself. Aaron pounced on me and asked what I wanted to say. Cause it agreed with him.

I told him that I wouldn’t let editing get in the way of writing.
He did not like that.
He would call me as I was driving to work and request that I arrange complicated emails and approvals WHILE I WAS DRIVING. Even after I told him I was DRIVING.
For context, I was a contractor at Riot. My entire existence depended on this man.
Of course I did what he needed. I wanted to do my best.
Now I want to take an aside and say a lot of things happened to me at Riot that had nothing to do with Aaron, but I am going to try and keep to the relevant points.
One thing involving Aaron though was even after all this weird treatment and him treating me like a personal assistant, and even trying to get me to make approvals because “I’ve always had people to handle my emails and sending reply all emails”
(Side note: I’ve never met a person in film who was a director let along a story lead that could not hit reply on in email)
I still thought he wasn’t a bad dude. That’s the thing about him. He tricks you. He gaslights you’re. He slowly makes whatever he’s doing to you seem normal. Which you want it to be. Because he made a thing you love.
Gentle reader, NO. Always trust your gut.
There was a point that me being hired full time was a question. A question I had posed several times to Aaron and others.

Aaron got sick of me hopefully asking that he took me into a conference room alone and said “Stop asking, we’re going to hire you.”
I asked him if he had any feedback and that goes to a wider Riot story, but for what I know... I was going to be hired.

I was elated.
Cut to... a week later. Many things are going down on the team. People are getting PIPs some are being told that they need to find a new team.
Aaron takes me aside to do his emotional labor and talk about how hard it’s been.
I go back to my desk and think nothing of it.

Until later that day.
Aaron was super sad and talking about how everything happening was devastating and I follow him thinking it’s another talk.

We reach a door and when I say “yeah it’s been really hard” and he says “yeah this is too”
Gentle reader, I was STUNNED. I was pulled into a room where people told me I was no longer going to be at a job that I was verbally told I would. I asked many questions as to why. None were answered.

When I pled to Aaron saying what he told me, he never looked at me.
He never looked at me the WHOLE TIME.
When I went down to my car dumbfounded. He and another coworker gave me an awkward hug and said they would rec me on LinkedIn.
That other coworker (who was actually my boss did, Aaron never did)
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