In the sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination against Activision Blizzard, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing describes an event at BlizzCon 2013 in which one employee would host what was commonly known as the "Cosby Suite," named for previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby. A Kotaku report published Wednesday has revealed details of the event.
DFEH's lawsuit specifically names longtime World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi, both as a serial sexual harasser and as the host of the "Cosby Suite." He can be seen in a photo with several other employees posing in front of a portrait of Bill Cosby at what is reportedly BlizzCon 2013. One of those employees has been identified as a human resources representative at Blizzard.
Using photos and comments from Afrasiabi's Facebook profile and input from anonymous Blizzard employees, the report paints the "Cosby Suite" as a "booze-filled meeting place" and a spot for networking within the company. Afrasiabi posted photos of the suite to his Facebook profile, and captions and comments corroborate that they are from BlizzCon 2013.
Although the report stops short of saying anyone was sexually assaulted in the "Cosby Suite," a screenshot shows several male developers actively participating in planning the suite in a group chat called the "BlizzCon Cosby Crew."
Former Blizzard designer David Kosak wrote "I am gathering the hot chixx for the Coz." Afrasiabi responds saying, "Bring em."
Kosek: "You can't marry ALL of them Alex."
Afrasiabi: "I can, I'm middle eastern."
Current Blizzard lead game designer Jesse McCree replies, "You misspelled fuck."
It's unclear whether Afrasiabi and company were aware of the allegations of rape against Bill Cosby at the time. Multiple allegations of sexual assault had already been made by that time, but a conviction — later overturned on a technicality — didn't arrive until 2018. Sources variously describe the name as a reference to an ugly boardroom at Blizzard's main office and a reference to an ugly hotel room at BlizzCon.
Activision Blizzard confirmed to Kotaku that it fired Afrasiabi last month after being made aware of the DFEH complaint's allegations. The company did not make that information public at the time.