Amid widespread allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination at video game company Activision Blizzard, images have surfaced of the “Cosby Suite,” the infamous hotel room of World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi at 2013’s BlizzCon. The hotel room is also referenced in a lawsuit against the company by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) on July 20.
A former Blizzard employee supplied images to Kotaku of the “Cosby Suite,” reportedly a site for casual networking where those looking to connect with the company would drink alcohol and hang out with its designers. Named after Bill Cosby, whose sexual assault conviction was recently overturned, Afrasiabi is seen posing with a framed photo of Cosby in the hotel room, alongside other male employees.
Along with Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, Afrasiabi was named in the lawsuit against Activision over what women at the company described as a “frat boy” workplace culture. The DFEH also noted in its suit that female employees alleged that they were subjected to “constant sexual harassment” by unruly male coworkers. An investigation conducted as part of the lawsuit found that women only account for 20 percent of employees at the company, with hardly any in leadership positions. The lawsuit also noted large pay discrepancies between men and women.
According to Kotaku, the “Cosby Suite” photos are from a Facebook album from the conference. Other photos appear to show large amounts of alcohol that were bought in “preparation” for the conference.” The outlet also published photos showing a group chat called the “BlizzCon Cosby Crew.”
“I am gathering the hot chixx for the Coz,” former designer David Kosak wrote in the chat, to which Afrasiabi replied “Bring em.”
“You can’t marry ALL of them Alex,” Kosak wrote back, according to the images supplied. “I can, I’m middle eastern,” Afrasiabi responded.
In its response to the lawsuit, Activision referred to the allegations against it as “distorted.”
Earlier this week, more than 800 employees from Activision fired back with an open letter to the company’s leadership team, calling its response “abhorrent and insulting” and writing that it has “damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry.”
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