One of the longest-running independent film companies in Hollywood – Millennium Films – is currently under fire for disrespecting and ill-treating their female employees. A former executive has filed a harassment lawsuit, alleging that women were subjected to name-calling, with derogatory words like “whores,” “c—suckers,” and “mistresses,”. Actresses, too, weren’t spared, and were called “too fat,” “too ugly” and “too old.”
According to a Variety report, the case was filed under a pseudonym, Jane Roe, a former Director of Development at the company. The lawsuit names CEO Avi Lerner as a defendant, and alleges that he made many of the derogatory remarks and hired “unqualified girlfriends,” in addition to encouraging young female employees to wear revealing clothing without underwear around the office.
Some of the other complaints the lawsuit allege are as follows:
- Several of the “the girls” in the company were considered valuable because they helped bring prostitutes for actors working with the company and for Lerner’s friends.
- A female vice-president received flak for not producing a film properly because she was “too busy having sex with her boyfriend”.
- Female employees were paid less than their male counterparts.
- Female employees were discriminated “based on disability”. Roe claims she was fired in December “shortly after [she] disclosed her impending back surgery.”
Speaking to Deadline, Lerner said that it was all “a joke”.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction against the defendants from “engaging in any further acts of discrimination or retaliation against female employees or disabled employees”.
The news of sexual harassment at the workplace comes soon after Fox News let go of their leading on-air host Bill O’Reilly and co-president Bill Shine on the same grounds.
Millennium Films is a California-based production and distribution company with over 100 films to its credit, including The Expendables (2010), London Has Fallen (2016), and Rambo (2008). Their upcoming films are Hitman’s Bodyguard, Stoic, Hunter Killer, and The Bleeder.
Feature Image: Deadline