On May 27, 2020, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in California filed paperwork to sue a former cinematographer from “Criminal Minds,” Gregory St. Johns. CBS, the Disney Company, four executive producers, and a co-producer are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
What Does Report Allege?
According to reports, the court documents allege St. Johns engaged in a sequence of “sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation” for at least 14 years. In October of 2018, St. Johns was fired after the public became aware of crew members’ complaints.
“Numerous men” have accused him of caressing, kissing, and touching them. The victims state the people who employed St. Johns had “actual and constructive knowledge” of the abuse they endured. However, nothing was done by corporate, and St. Johns’s behavior was allowed to continue.
The legal action also states, “No necessary steps to prevent sex-based harassment and discrimination were taken over the years, nor were appropriate corrective actions.” ABC Signature Studios has publicly announced they are going to “defend the asserted claims vigorously.”
What Else Does Complaint Say?
The complaint also mentions St. Johns had been given an “enhanced severance” pay when he was terminated. California’s DFEH Director Kevin Kish said, “Companies and leaders who protect harassers and retaliate against those who complain violate the law.”
In March of 2019, the DFEH initiated a methodical investigation after two former employees submitted administrative complaints. According to complaints, St. Johns would grope men’s genitals and buttocks. It also states that St. Johns would caress and kiss the men on the neck and shoulders. The suit says that more than a dozen men had been terminated for complaining about his actions.
By Sheena Robertson
Edited by Jeanette Vietti
Yahoo!: Disney, CBS Sued Over ‘Criminal Minds’ Sexual Harassment by California Department of Fair Employment
BBC: California sues Disney and CBS over Criminal Minds harassment claims
Daily Mail: Disney and CBS are sued by LA authorities for ‘disregarding dozens of complaints about Criminal Minds cinematographer who persistently sexually harassed male crew members over the course of 14 years’
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Mark McQuitty’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License