LOS ANGELES (AFP) – California sued Disney and CBS for allegedly covering up 14 years of sexual harassment against male crew members on the set of television cop series Criminal Minds, officials said on Tuesday (May 26).
A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleges Gregory St Johns abused his position as cinematographer to repeatedly grope crew members, and retaliate against those who spurned his advances.
St Johns touched multiple men on their genitalia and "kissed or caressed their necks, shoulders and ears" in a pattern of behavior that was "rampant, frequent and in the open," it alleges.
"The lawsuit further alleges that the executive production team knew of and condoned the unlawful conduct, firing over a dozen men who resisted St John's harassment," said a Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) statement.
St Johns was removed from the show after trade publication Variety published an article in 2018 detailing allegations.
The DFEH began investigating in March last year.
The department, which enforces California's civil rights laws including on workplace harassment, is now seeking damages for any victims.
As well as suing the giant Hollywood studios, the lawsuit also names several individual producers as defendants.
Director Kevin Kish warned that "companies and leaders who protect harassers and retaliate against those who complain violate the law."
Neither Disney nor CBS immediately responded to AFP rRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]