Disney, John Ridley, ABC sued for discrimination and retaliation

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Disney, John Ridley, ABC sued for discrimination and retaliation

A former director of development for ABC is taking the network, parent company Disney, and John Ridley to court over gender, racial and economic discrimination after she complained about alleged conditions.

Full disclosure: Oscar winner Ridley is the co-host of Deadline’s Doc Talk podcast.

In a nine-claim complaint filed today in L.A. Superior Court (read it here), Asta Jonason says she was ignored and underpaid after writing for a promotion in 2022 after more than a decade at ABC. He was removed from office after airing his oft-cited complaints about the move. , While demanding a jury trial, Jonason wants a variety of unspecified damages from the trio of Disney, Ridley and ABC.

Throughout Ms. Jonason’s tenure under Ridley and the IFPRPC, her salary remained unchanged, and did not match the pay scale of the position she held. In fact, Ridley failed to pay Jonasson a salary commensurate with the role she was qualified for and was already performing. Ridley instead offered a development position with higher pay to a white male, who ultimately did not take the role. After this, Jonason continued his work, including development, at his low salary. On several occasions, Jonason complained to Ridley about the hypocrisy of his public positions on civil rights and his personal failure to pay Jonason, a woman of color, commensurate with her skill, effort, and responsibility. Ridley’s hypocrisy continues today, with the premiere of his film “Shirley”, a biographical film based on the life of Shirley Chisholm: the first black woman elected to the United States Congress and outspoken proponent of equal pay and women’s rights. .

Jonason also complained to ABC about this illegal discrimination, but ABC failed to take any corrective action. In 2021, ABC and Ridley/IFRPPC hired Shannon Rhodes, a white woman, to perform the duties Jonas was already performing, but for significantly more money. Jonason repeated his complaints of discrimination. In response, her employment was summarily and wrongfully terminated by ABC and Ridley/IFPRPC.

After more than a decade of being taken advantage of by people in positions of power in Hollywood and the major media organizations that enabled and protected her, Jonason now wants to stand up for herself and the countless others in Hollywood who are without They are in Hollywood without any deal and without any face. Those who are exploited by systemic discrimination are left to work long hours for low pay and little or no credit.

After three years at the network/Studio, Jonason was hired as Director of Development at Ridley’s International Famous Players Radio Picture Corporation in 2014. For more than six years he worked directly for Ridley and expressing dissatisfaction with his position and compensation as well as the film producer’s attitude, Jonason and his Greenberg Gross attorneys declared that “To the best of their knowledge, ABC “Never attempted to investigate or resolve these complaints.”

Listing a number of misconducts, including a professional associate of Ridley’s allegedly calling Jonasson a “bitch” and 12 years a Slave While the screenwriter isn’t doing anything about it, the plaintiff and her attorneys express a theory in the filing about what was really going on at the IFPRPC for a woman of color.

“In response to Jonason’s complaint of unlawful discrimination, Ridley expressed anger and dismissed her concerns,” the 21-page filing with LASC on Wednesday said, which also claimed Ridley privately “disrespected the women. And there were no equal pay lawyers for people of color. Seemed to be in public. “When Jonason again asked why Ridley had failed to provide him with the previously promised career opportunity, Ridley responded that Jonason would have left him if he had allowed him to work on a freelance script. It was clear that Ridley greatly valued Jonason’s work and contributions and was attempting to jeopardize his career in order to continue working for him at unequal pay.”

You may recognize the name Jonason.

In December last year, she had filed a sexual harassment case against Vin Diesel.

Alleged assault occurred during filming in an Atlanta hotel room in 2010 fast Five. Jonason said she had been hired as Diesel’s assistant just nine days before Samantha Vincent, the actor’s sister and head of his One Race production company, fired her just hours after the alleged assault.

Filed under California’s Sexual Abuse and Liability Concealment Act, which waives the statute of limitations, the Diesel suit seeks an unspecified number of damages. Vin Diesel’s attorney Brian Friedman told Deadline last year, “Vin Diesel completely rejects this claim.”

Today Disney/ABC declined to comment on Jonason’s legal action against him and Ridley. Ridley’s representatives did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment on this matter, if they do, we’ll update.

One of Jonason’s lawyers had to comment on today’s filing.

Claire-Lise Kutley said, “Women and minorities in the entertainment industry have historically been paid less than white men doing similar work.” “The law requires equal pay for equal work and protects workers who stand up for their rights,” said Greenberg Gross attorney. “By filing this lawsuit, Ms. Jonason has added her voice to this historic movement to fight injustice.”

It should be noted that Disney is facing a class action suit against potentially thousands of former and current female employees for paying them less than men. First filed in 2019 by Walt Disney Studios employees LaRonda Rasmussen and Karen Moore, the action claims the media giant violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act and California’s Equal Pay Act. Since Disney has repeatedly failed to get the lawsuit dismissed, the action is seeking at least $150 million in lost wages, and damages could rise to more than $300 million.

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