The director of CBS’s Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, an annual talent showcase that highlights performers of color, those with disabilities, and LGBTQ performers, has left CBS in light of, you guessed it, sexual harassment allegations.
Variety reports that Rick Najera, who has led the showcase for its 13-year entirety, was the subject of an investigation regarding a complaint from last February which was resolved. But last week, allegations of misconduct dating back to 2009 surfaced. Via Variety:
Among the complaints were a 2009 incident in which he allegedly said he and his wife were in an open relationship, implying to the performer that he was interested in pursuing a relationship, as well as a 2014 incident in which he was accused of making lewd comments to a second performer.
In a statement to Variety, CBS said:
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.
Apparently Najera’s behavior was so bad that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom warned showcase participants about him and asked them to come forward (she confirmed this to Variety).
Honestly it’s almost unsurprising that a network that has gone two years without approving a new television series with a female lead (all but one of its new shows for the last two years has starred white men), and let two Asian stars of a show walk out over pay disparity issues because they refused to pay them the same as their white costars, also has a diversity initiative whose director allegedly sexually harassed performers.