Criminal Minds may be off the air now, but The Walt Disney Company, CBS and a Pretorian guard of executives from the long running series are now looking down the barrel of a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Over 14 years, Gregory St. John, the directory of photography for Disney’s and ABC-CBS’s joint production of Criminal Minds, engaged in sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation against persons working on the set of the show, including without limitation, production crew members,” proclaims the filing from the state agency in Los Angeles Superior Court against the long-accused DP. “St. Johns’ conduct was rampant, frequent, and in the open,” the wide-spread damages and relief seeking document put in the court docket last week adds (read it here).
“With the aid of defendants, St. Johns created an unchecked intimidating, hostile, and offensive work environment on the set of Criminal Minds,” the dense 23-page complaint also notes.
“Protected by the executive production team––including show runner Erica Messer, executive producer Harry Bring, executive producer John Breen Frazier, director Glenn Kershaw, and unit production manager Stacey Beneville––St. Johns continued his unlawful conduct for years,” the filing damningly notes. “Defendants’ executive team not only had actual and constructive knowledge of St. Johns’ abusive conduct, they condoned it. No necessary steps to prevent sex-based harassment and discrimination were taken over the years, nor were appropriate corrective actions. Instead, the executives fired anyone who resisted or who tacitly evaded St. Johns’ advances or abuse.”
Neither CBS nor Disney and its ABC Studio unit responded to request for comment on the lawsuit from the DFEH.
With St. Johns no longer a member of the production team, Criminal Minds wrapped up its 15th and final season in February on the now ViacomCBS-owned network.
That’s six months after former 2nd assistant camera Todd Durboraw sued ABC Studios and CBS Corp in LASC in a 10-claim complaint over St. Johns’ indulged misconduct on the series. Further actions from ex-crew members Anthony Matulic and Dauv McNeely prompted the DFEH to make their move against the powerful studios. In particular, with the duo named as real parties in interest in this lawsuit legal action, the fact from the former that he was axed from the show after reporting St. Johns to his supervisors seemed to light a fire under the state agency. In fact, after DFEH director Kevin Kish filed a Director’s Complaint about the matter, the parties all engaged in an effort to “resolve this matter with litigation,” according to the new-ish filing.
Clearly, that was a bust.
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