Late Night With Jimmy Fallon‘s titular host is being sued for gender discrimination, but it’s not what you might initially think.
Jimmy Fallon is an alumnus of comedy touchstone Saturday Night Live, and the show has long been accused of being a sexist, male-centric environment in which comediennes are forced to sink or swim in a culture thought to be severely misogynist. (The issue came up again just this month, when former SNL star Jane Curtain told Oprah that John Belushi, during her time on the show, was particularly hard on female cast members.)
So when you hear another grad of the late-night variety show is being accused of gender discrimination, you might assume that it’s the old “women are not funny” trope rearing its ugly head again. But not so in the case of Fallon- in fact, a male former employee is suing the late-night star for what he contends is favor shown on the show towards women.
Paul Tarascio filed suit in Manhattan against Jimmy Fallon and NBC Universal, alleging that he’d been treated unfairly due to his penis-having while he worked for Fallon a few years back. According to TMZ, the suit explains:
“In the documents, obtained by TMZ … Tarascio accuses Fallon of “gender bias” — and says he wasn’t the only victim. He claims other male staffers, such as audio technicians and a Prop-Master were also replaced by women at Jimmy’s request… Tarascio also alleges his replacement was “a less qualified woman” who constantly asked him how to do the job, and screwed up her stage manager duties.”
Tarascio is seeking punitive damages and lost wages, and in court docs, he claims that Fallon’s director explained that “Jimmy just prefers to take direction from a woman,” and that performance issues were trumped up against the sacked former employee to obtain grounds to fire him.