Photos reveal details of Blizzcon 2013 ‘Cosby Suite,’ group chat where Blizzard developers discussed recruiting women for sexual favors

A collection of images and textual content screenshots obtained and published by Kotaku today revealed new particulars round a BlizzCon 2013 lodge room and group chat, the place a minimum of 5 present and former Blizzard Leisure senior degree builders seemingly mentioned plans to recruit feminine staff and different girls for sexual favors.

The lodge suite, nicknamed the “Cosby Suite,” was first revealed in a lawsuit brought against Activision Blizzard for gender discrimination on July 21 by the California Division of Truthful Empmployment and Housing. In that grievance, state labor legal professionals singled out former World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi as allegedly sexually harassing girls throughout the firm and being the particular person accountable for the lodge room. 

Now, although, the images and screenshots inform a unique story—that a minimum of 5 present and former male Blizzard staff participated within the lodge suite and the group chat.

The room served as an off-the-cuff networking spot for attendees of BlizzCon, sources who attended the occasion advised Kotaku, and was filled with alcoholic drinks and a big portrait of comic and actor Invoice Cosby. The images obtained by Kotaku have been initially posted by Afrasiabi in an album on his Fb web page and extra images of that weekend have been later found on social media, posted by different members of the group chat.

Photograph through Kotaku

Within the group chat, the 5 builders mentioned their plans to deliver girls to the room, together with Afrasiabi, present Blizzard designer Cory Stockton and Jesse McCree, former Blizzard developer David Kosak, and former Blizzard and present Riot Video games recreation producer Greg Road. 

“I’m gathering the recent chixx for the Coz,” Kozak advised his colleagues. “Carry em,” Afrasiabi responded. “You’ll be able to’t marry all of them, Alex,” Kozak replied. “I can, I’m center jap,” Afrasiabi mentioned.

“You mispelled fuck,” McCree chimed in.

Photograph through Kotaku

In a single touch upon Afrasiabi’s Fb album, Stockton commented on the chat: “Probably the best group chat within the historical past of mankind.”

One supply advised Kotaku that the room didn’t carry a sexual connotation, however quite, referred to the ugly sweaters Cosby wore on TV and an previous boardroom at earlier Blizzard workplaces that shared an identical dated shade. That supply mentioned the joke continued and any room with related traits can be recognized by the Cosby title. However in images reviewed by Kotaku, the lodge room’s partitions have been predominantly white and clean. One rug within the room had a sample however didn’t resemble the image of Cosby in an unpleasant sweater that a number of staff posed with in images.

In a message despatched to Riot staff and posted by Road on his Twitter, he additionally claimed the room didn’t carry a sexual connotation and that he “by no means noticed or skilled any of the harassment described within the allegations.” Road additionally mentioned the messages have been a reference to Kosak’s spouse and a pal and that the dialogue “was a joke, not supposed for a broad viewers.”

The lodge room’s unofficial namesake, Cosby, was first accused of sexual abuse in 2005 and later convicted in April 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania. Since 2005, Cosby’s been accused by roughly 60 girls of sexual abuse in incidents allegedly occuring from 1965 to 2008. His Pennsylvania conviction was later overturned in June 2021, with the court docket citing violations of due course of.

For the reason that grievance was filed, many ladies have spoken out about their experiences of working at and with Activision Blizzard, together with allegations towards Afrasiabi for sexual abuse and inappropriate and indecent conduct. Former World of Warcraft esports mission supervisor Olivia Grace tweeted today that Road invited her to the “Cosby Suite” and that one other employees member turned “handsy” along with her.

In an announcement to Kotaku, Activision Blizzard confirmed for the primary time that it dismissed Afrasiabi for misconduct in June 2020.

“An worker introduced these 2013 occasions to our consideration in June 2020,” a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard advised Kotaku in an announcement. “We instantly carried out our personal investigation and took corrective motion. On the time of the report, we had already carried out a separate investigation of Alex Afrasiabi and terminated him for his misconduct in his therapy of different staff.”

Afrasiabi is the one particular person, aside from Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, to be named within the grievance immediately. Shortly after it was filed, a video of the 2 males and different builders, together with Road, at BlizzCon 2010 resurfaced on Twitter. There, throughout a Q&A panel, a girl requested the World of Warcraft builders when feminine characters within the recreation would now not be sexualized. Afrasiabi and Brack mocked her. Road later apologized and mentioned he regretted not standing up for the lady and others on the time.

Earlier in the present day, staff of Activision Blizzard walked out of Blizzard’s offices in Irvine, California, protesting the corporate’s dealing with of the allegations for the reason that grievance was filed on July 21. As of July 27, greater than 2600 present and former staff signed an open letter to Activision Blizzard administration calling the response “abhorrent and insulting,” according to Axios. | Pictures reveal particulars of Blizzcon 2013 ‘Cosby Suite,’ group chat the place Blizzard builders mentioned recruiting girls for sexual favors


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