California Sues Disney & CBS Over Sexual Misconduct On ‘Criminal Minds’ Set
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is suing The Disney Company, CBS, and cinematographer Gregory St. Johns because of St Johns’ sexual harassment of crew members on the Criminal Minds set. The DFEH filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning. St Johns, the Criminal Minds cinematographer, was allegedly allowed to grope male crew members for years and his employers condoned the behavior.
St Johns was fired from the Criminal Minds set in 2018 after crew members complained of the harassment and their statements went public. The DFEH began investigating this case in March of 2019.
Court documents that state St Johns engaged in “sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation” for 14 years. St Johns is accused of touching kissing and caressing “numerous men” and that his employers had “actual and constructive knowledge” of this conduct. More than 12 men who rejected St Johns’ advances, were fired off of the show’s set at the cinematographer’s request.
The lawsuit seeks back pay and other damages for the fired crew members.
The legal documents state, “No necessary steps to prevent sex-based harassment and discrimination were taken over the years, nor were appropriate corrective actions… Instead, the executives fired anyone who resisted or who tacitly evaded St Johns’ advances or abuse.”
The defendants in this case, Disney, CBS, and St Johns, have not commented yet. ABC Signature Studios, owned by Disney, said they would “defend the asserted claims vigorously.”