Sexism on Set Alleged at 'Grey's Anatomy'
LOS ANGELES (CN) - ABC television fired a production tech on "Grey's Anatomy" after he accused a male cinematographer of sexism, the tech claims in court.
Timothy Day, a lighting and rigging technician referred to in the industry as a grip, sued ABC in Superior Court, alleging failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation, and failure to rehire. Day claims he worked on the show for 10 years before losing his job two years ago.
Day claims the show's director of photography (nonparty) Herb Davis made life difficult for women crew members who worked on "Grey's Anatomy."
"In particular, Mr. Davis directed his antipathy towards female directors and other female staff who were assigned to high level positions within the production," the lawsuit states. "Not only did Mr. Davis hold female directors to a different standard than the male directors, Mr. Davis would go out of his way to humiliate them by questioning their competence and making sexist jokes about them. Mr. Davis routinely referred to female employees as 'knuckleheads' and 'idiots' and said that the female directors were not qualified and, therefore, must have 'known' someone to get hired."
Day claims Davis refused to get equipment that female directors needed for certain shots, delaying production and running the show over budget.
"Mr. Day was required to discuss the shoots with Mr. Davis and, as a result, saw that Mr. Davis held female directors to a more arduous standard than the male directors by questioning their work product and their need for specific equipment," the 8-page complaint states.
When Day complained to the show's producers, Davis' behavior only got worse, according to the complaint. One woman was so stressed by Davis' behavior that she became sick, he claims.
After taking up the matter with ABC's human resources, a staff member told Day, "'We usually want to hear that he's throwing chairs, screaming at people,'" the lawsuit states.
Though Day was promised there would be no retaliation, he says he was not rehired at the beginning of the following season.
Season eight of Grey's Anatomy aired on ABC from September 2011 until May 2012, with the show's ninth season commencing in the fall of 2012. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes created the show.
Industry website IMDb credits Davis with shooting 161 episodes of the show, including episodes that aired this year.
Day seeks punitive damages and costs from defendants ABC Studios, ABC International Television, and ABC.
He is represented by David Myers with The Myers Law Group of Rancho Cucamonga.
ABC declined to comment.