TELEVISION: Fired KVVU employee charges discrimination

  Portraying two former newsroom colleagues — including “More” cohost Rachel Smith — as hostile to gays, anti-Semitic and physically abusive, a fired video editor has filed suit against KVVU-TV Channel 5, claiming he was dismissed last year after complaining about the behavior.
   Filed earlier this week in the Eighth Judicial District Court on behalf of Eric J. Schyman, the suit alleges, among other charges, that last year, Smith harrassed Schyman in front of coworkers “for wanting to meet Joan Rivers, stating that it must be (Schyman’s) “ultimate gay-Jew fantasy,” and remarking that “she was going to write a book on how gay (Schyman) was.” Smith is also accused of ridiculing Schyman in front of coworkers over a mistake he made because of his dyslexia when, he claims, Smith already knew of his disability.
   In other allegations, the lawsuit says chief photographer manager Justin Grant made inappropriate sexual remarks about a relative of Schyman in front of coworkers; made a “statement about being part of the ‘team’ like the Nazis were, knowing (Schyman) was Jewish”; and shoved him against a wall “to show how to properly restrain a person,” even though Schyman “never gave Grant permission to act as such” and considered the act threatening.
   Stating that Schyman complained to KVVU’s human resources department, the lawsuit claims he was fired a week later, ostensibly for mailing a video to a wrong address, which the suit calls “retaliatory.” The suit seeks damages in excess of $40,000.
Asked for comment, KVVU news director Adam P. Bradshaw said, “We will not comment on a pending legal matter.”


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