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TMZ employee files lawsuit, alleges racism, misogyny, toxic environment

TMZ employee files lawsuit, alleges racism, misogyny, toxic environment

TMZ is a well-known brand since 2005. Off lately, it seems to be getting a taste of its own medicine. One particular hot-news at the moment is about the lawsuit filed against TMZ. A former TMZ employee, Bernadette Zilio decided to take the company to court and filed a lawsuit two weeks ago. She openly called out Harvey Levin and his leadership team for creating a toxic and sexist workplace environment. 23 ex-employees along with a current employee came forward in support of Zilio.

About the lawsuit

Bernadette Zilio claimed that the environment at TMZ was a toxic one. Despite lodging a complaint with the HR, no action was taken against the accused people whatsoever. The complaint lodged against TMZ stated,

Incredibly, Ms. Zilio was terminated within a few days of Warner Bros. and EHM’s Human Resources telling Ms. Zilio that it rejected her complaints about the sexist and misogynist treatment, and instead accepted the excuses her male supervisors gave for the differential treatment.

TMZ’s response to this was rather bland. A spokesperson from the company accused it to be an attempt to use negative publicity. Moreover, he claimed that all of this was just an act to gain money. The allegations against TMZ include an “unchecked abuse of power”.

TMZ employee files lawsuit, alleges racism, misogyny, toxic environment

Other statements against TMZ

The people who came forward in support of Zilio also stated that there are hardly any women in senior positions. Further, they alleged that the company hires people of color only because they are obligated to do so. One person said,

If you’re talking about the rights of Black people, if you’re talking about misogyny, if you’re talking about equality amongst everyone, it’s never reflected in the workplace. We’re reporting on all of that stuff, but we’re not doing it ourselves.

Additionally, some other TMZ employee have admitted that Levin has openly called people “morons” and “retards”. He has constantly abused his employees verbally. All of them have admitted to feeling physically threatened by him.

TMZ and its Dirty History

Bernadette Zilio isn’t the only employee to file a lawsuit against the company. Back in 2014, two other employees filed similar lawsuits against TMZ. Ryan Naumann alleged that Levin purposely outed him as gay in front of his fellow employees. Another employee, Taryn Hillin accused gender discrimination and wrongful termination.

These serious issues are not only faced by the employees of TMZ, but also by many others. Several protests each and every day seem to be bearing no fruit. Instead of making the workplace a comfortable environment, certain people like Levin seem to be misusing their power. These unethical practices need to be changed for the better future of human-kind.

About the author

Smrithi Arun

An enthusiastic media student who is passionate about film-making and writing

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