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FOX FACES ANOTHER SUIT -- FOR HARASSMENT
Is this really a standard practice? Fox's former director of
Broadcast Standards & Practices claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday
that she was denied a promotion and subjected to disparaging
treatment by her immediate supervisor because she is a woman.
Linda Shima-Tsuno's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit claims
Roland McFarland, Fox's vice president of Broadcast Standards
& Practices, directed sexually derogatory comments and slurs
toward her. He told Shima-Tsuno, for instance, that he didn't
approve of her "incestuous relationship with producers,"
and that she shouldn't "jump into bed with producers,"
the lawsuit claims. McFarland also tried to undermine
Shima-Tsuno's work by lying to her about instructions from Fox
supervisors regarding the shows she edited, the suit maintains.
The department edits shows to make sure they adhere to general
broadcast standards, as well as those set by the company.
Shows under Shima-Tsuno's supervision included THE X-FILES and
THE SIMPSONS. McFarland would admonish her in front of co-workers
for "inadequate" edits by allegedly saying they resulted in shows
that are "too violent, too dark and no one will watch them"
and "Fox has become like the WB."
Shima-Tsuno claims she reported McFarland's behavior to Fox,
but his alleged harassing behavior continued. A human resources
coordinator told her that an investigation of McFarland found no
wrongdoing, but admitted that other women who were also allegedly
harassed weren't interviewed, the lawsuit says. In March 1999,
the seven-year veteran of the department, who says she received
nothing but praise for her work from everyone but McFarland,
was denied a promotion to executive director. In February of
this year, she was terminated -- five months before her employment
agreement expired -- because "she did not get along with Roland,"
the lawsuit says she was told. Shima-Tsuno's suit adds that
Fox has refused to pay her for the remaining term of her
contract unless she discloses where else she is applying
for work -- a move that may thwart her job search effort.
A Fox spokesman said the people best qualified to respond to
the allegations weren't immediately available for comment.
The suit, filed by Richard A. Love and Jennifer A. Zolezzi
of Love & Shenfeld, seeks unspecified monetary damages.
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