CBS’ Criminal Minds may have ended earlier this year, but that’s not stopping California’s Department Of Fair Employment And Housing from taking steps against what it characterizes as an “unchecked” environment of “intimidating, hostile, and offensive” behavior from Gregory St. Johns, the show’s director of photography. According to The Hollywood Reporter, California has filed an “extraordinary” suit against various studios and executive producers involved in the show, including CBS Studios, ABC Signature Studios, The Walt Disney Company, and other individual people based on accusations that the show’s executive-producing team “protected” St. Johns for years. Furthermore, the suits says that the producers on Criminal Minds not only knew about the alleged behavior but also “condoned it” by taking “no necessary steps to prevent sex-based harassment and discrimination” and by firing “anyone who resisted or who tacitly evaded St. Johns’ advances or abuse.”
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The suit says that over a dozen men were fired by the show at St. Johns’ request and accuses the Walt Disney Company’s employee relations department of conducting “inadequate investigations designed to exonerate St. Johns.” It goes on to say that no action was taken until the media began reporting on the allegations against St. Johns, but even after he was fired, he still received an “enhanced severance.” You can read the full complaint in the THR article linked above, which says that the state is looking for “compensatory and punitive damages” as well as “injunctive declaratory, and equitable relief” from the many defendants.
Neither St. Johns nor Disney has publicly responded to the suit, but THR says it will update its story if/when that happens.