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Rick Najera, longtime director of CBS’ Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, is out at the network following allegations of sexual harassment.
The writer-producer, whose most recent credits include Hulu series East Los High, was investigated earlier this year after inappropriate comments allegedly made at the network’s annual Diversity Sketch Comedy showcase. A CBS spokesperson issued the following statement about his departure: “In March 2017, CBS became aware of inappropriate comments made during the production of the Diversity Comedy Showcase, and remedial action was taken at that time, which the company felt was appropriate to the matter. Subsequent information has recently emerged. After looking into these reports and a discussion with Mr. Najera, he has resigned from his role with the Diversity Comedy Showcase.”
Najera had held the position at CBS for 13 years. The news was first reported Thursday by Variety, which also cited lewd comments he allegedly made over the years and that the network had received new information last week — as well as, among other things, an email from Rachel Bloom, co-creator of The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, warning showcase participants that she’d heard things about Najera’s behavior. (Bloom was not a participant in the showcases.)
No replacement has been named — but the Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase remains a big initiative at CBS, where it, like other networks, endeavors to broaden its talent pool with people of color, LGBT performers and those with disabilities.
Najera is the latest domino to fall after initial reports of sexual harassment and assault allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein exploded into a near-daily outing of similar behavior across the entertainment industry.
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