MANHATTAN (CN) – MTV Networks bullied, sexually discriminated against and fired a former vice president, the woman claims in Federal Court.
Andrea Fair sued MTV and its corporate parent, Viacom, and affiliates.
Fair filed the suit Tuesday in the Southern District of New York.
Fair, who claims she has worked in the music industry for 20 years with artists such as Wyclef Jean, The Black Eyed Peas and John Legend, says two MTV supervisors bullied her and others, but never were reprimanded.
MTV hired her as a senior talent director in 2005, and promoted her to vice president of talent and music in 2008, Fair says in her complaint. Then the network hired Bruce Gillmer as the department’s senior vice president.
Fair says Gillmer swiftly slashed her duties, told her to stop talking to record reps and excluded her from meetings.
“In the days after Gillmer became her supervisor, it became clear to Fair that Gillmer was treating her differently because of her age and gender. On numerous occasions Gillmer accused Fair of being ‘too emotional,'” the complaint states.
Fair claims Gillmer said the department lacked the money to send her to MTV awards shows in Europe and Africa, but he sent male and other younger female employees on the trips, and he cut Fair off during conference calls.
Gillmer called his assistant “fucking nuts” and “wack-a-doodle,” and called a supervisor “a poisonous Nazi” and “sneaky bastard,” but never was reprimanded, Fair says.
She claims another, unidentified senior vice president regularly yelled at his staff and made anti-Semitic about Fair’s boyfriend, but his behavior too went unaddressed.
“Don’t tell me you are going to start wearing a wig and take off the Sabbath,” the man allegedly told Fair. “Oh, great. Your mom will be so happy you are dating a Jewish doctor … Will you all go pray together?”
Fair claims that in 2009 Gillmer ordered her to interview a former MTV assistant, (nonparty) Allison Farber, for a coordinator position. Fair says she told Gillmer that she did not feel that Farber would be a good fit, but he insisted.
Fair claims that while Farber was an assistant, she told Fair that she had “engaged in inappropriate activity” with a vice president, and talked about similar activity with another senior vice president.
Farber got the job as Fair’s coordinator, but cried and was defensive over “any constructive criticism or management guidance” that Fair offered, according to the complaint.
Fair claims Gillmer passed her over again and sent Farber to the network’s music and movie awards and on a video shoot with Rihanna in Los Angeles, despite professed budget concerns.
“Although Gillmer often complained about budgets and his inability to send Fair on trips, Farber asked to stay in an expensive hotel in California and chose an expensive car with GPS to drive in California,” the complaint states. “Fair asked Farber about her expenses, because Gillmer had once reprimanded Fair for renting a car with GPS for a trip. When Fair asked Farber about the expenses, Farber became defensive and aggressive, and said that Fair was acting in a very belligerent manner.”
Fair claims that Farber gave her a book of poetry, a heart with a compass, notebooks for journals and other gifts while working as her coordinator, but filed a complaint against her in August 2010.
Farber claimed that “Fair was inappropriately aggressive and controlling and that Fair inappropriately contacted Farber during non-work hours to talk about personal items and/or non-pressing business matters,” according to the complaint.
Farber also claimed to be “scared” of Fair, the complaint states.
In response, MTV fired Fair for an alleged “pattern” of inappropriate conduct in 2010, the complaint states.
Fair seeks compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees for gender and age discrimination.
She is represented by Anne Vladeck with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard.
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