22 April 2004

The Writer's Couch

Just to show that Hollywood and entertainment-industry insurance companies are at most peripherally related to the human race, consider this possibility. A woman is fired from the production staff of a really awful, really popular, really long-running TV sitcom involving young adults in purportedly realistic situations that invariably boil down to sex. This being America, she sues for sexual harassment. The producer, head writer, and production company (or, in reality, the lawyers for their insurer(s)) offer the defense that certain kinds of sexual harassment are a necessary part of the creative process, claiming further that this is a complete affirmative defense. What result?

How about a split baby? Obviously, the courts in question needed to consider a more-effective method of contraception.

The trial court bought the argument in toto, granting summary judgment against the plaintiff. The California Court of Appeals reversed on its face, but allowed the defense to be presented at trial. In other words, the defense is not ridiculous—there just wasn't enough evidence for it to justify summary judgment.

Millions for defense, but not a dime for tribute. Besides, "we're special." <a snd="raspberry.wav">Snort</a>