Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Employee Says He Was Fired For 'Exposing' Coke Abuse At Local Film Company

Coke abuse via Shutterstock
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

An employee at a local visual effects company says that he was wrongfully fired for "exposing" the coke habit of one of his higher-ups.Yesterday a Superior Court judge ruled that the employee Andrew MacDonald could bring a lawsuit against his former employer Ascent Media Group for wrongful termination, according to City News Service.

MacDonald alleges that he was terminated for calling attention to the alleged coke habit of a supervisor, who he says in court documents was nicknamed "Powder Donut Man," "Cokey the Clown, Our Fearless Leader" and "The Crinkle Club." The supervisor in question was Alex Frisch, who is best known for his visual effects work in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

MacDonald said he first began to talk to other supervisors at the company when he heard what sounded like someone doing coke in the men's restroom. That person appeared to be wearing the same shoes as Frisch, court documents say, although MacDonald says he wasn't sure.

MacDonald reported his concerns to a supervisor Michael Taylor and then the CEO of the visual effects company. Later, he claims in court documents that he actually witnessed Frisch doing cocaine and confronted him about it in the restroom. Frisch allegedly promised to stop.

Support for LAist comes from

MacDonald claims that his company warned him not to undermine Frisch because of his importance in the company, and he was fired a short time later. He says he later heard that he was fired for videotaping employees in the bathroom. MacDonald says he never videotaped any employee, but made a sarcastic remark to management that no one would believe him unless he had videotaped proof.

Court papers filed by lawyers for Ascent Media Group said that the results of an investigation into the accusations against Frisch weren't conclusive but he was verbally warned that the allegations that he made were "detrimental to his image in the company."