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Jimmy Fallon, NBCUniversal Sued Over 'Gender Bias'

Passing the Emmy Host Torch: Jimmy Fallon
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

A former male staffer claims that he was fired because the “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” host “prefers to take direction from a woman.”

Lawsuits and late night is an all-too-common combination, but in the case of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, a new gender-based suit takes on an unusual twist.

In an industry that is typically regarded as a "boys club," former Late Night staffer Paul Tarascio has filed papers claiming that he was removed from his position as first stage manager because of his gender, and was replaced by a “totally incompetent woman” in early 2010. According to the documents obtained by TMZ, Tarascio claims that director David Diomdi said: “Jimmy just prefers to take direction from a woman.”

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Jimmy Fallon and NBCUniversal are accused of “gender bias” in the suit, with Tarascio seeking punitive damages and lost wages. The plaintiff also claims that additional male staffers were replaced by women at Fallon’s request. NBCU has not yet responded to the suit.

News of the lawsuit comes on the same day that Jay Leno, whose Tonight Show also airs on NBC, was sued over a joke cracked last weekregarding Mitt Romney’s wealth. Dr. Randeep Dhillon, who runs a Punjabi religious organization, accused Leno of exposing all Sikh people to “hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloguy” after joking that the holy shrine of the Golden Temple could serve as Romney’s vacation home.