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Timothy Day, who was a best boy grip on Grey’s Anatomy for over 10 years, filed a lawsuit Friday in L.A. Superior Court against ABC Studios and Disney-ABC International Television alleging he was dismissed for complaining about “a pattern of pervasive gender discrimination and harassment perpetrated” by the show’s longtime director of photography.
Day says in his suit that Herb Davis, the director of photography, exhibited contempt for female employees and “misused his position of authority to subject these female directors to verbal abuse and inferior terms and conditions of employment.”
The specific charges are for failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation and failure to rehire Day in violation of public policy.
Day says that Davis had a reputation for excellent work, but beginning in season eight, he observed what he says was Davis’ “antipathy toward female directors and other female staff who were assigned to high-level positions within the production.”
Day says Davis held women directors to a different standard than male directors and would “go out of his way to humiliate them by questioning their competence and making sexist jokes about them.”
According to Day, Davis routinely referred to female employees as “knuckleheads” and “idiots,” and he said female directors were not qualified so they must have known someone to get their jobs.
He says Davis would refuse to give women directors the equipment they requested or would delay until it caused the show to go over budget, with the director being blamed.
Among the female directors whom Davis subjected to discrimination, according to Day, were Debbie Allen, Allison Liddi Brown and Susan Vaill. He says all three complained about Davis.
Day said he complained specifically to producers Jeff Rafner and Rob Corn, who, according to Day, told him they had heard similar stories before. The result, says Day, was that Davis’ hostility to female staff grew worse.
Day says he observed that Davis was upset with him for speaking out. When Day brought his complaints to Human Resources, he was assured there would be no retaliation for speaking out, but in the following season, his contract was not renewed.
He is seeking damages and recoupment of his lost income for the humiliation, emotional distress, mental pain and anguish he suffered.
A spokesman for Disney/ABC said he was not aware of the suit and was looking into it.
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