Judge in Erin Johnson JWT Discrimination Suit Will Allow ‘The Video’ Into Evidence

By Patrick Coffee 

The latest development in the lawyerly bickering that is the discrimination case filed against former JWT CEO Gustavo Martinez concerns “The Video” which reportedly depicts Martinez making a rape joke during a 2015 company retreat at a Miami hotel.

From District Judge J. Paul Oetken’s decision, filed yesterday:

“The Court has considered the briefing on Plaintiff’s motion for leave to annex a video to the Amended Complaint and Defendants’ motion for a protective order, and it has reviewed the video in camera. (Dkt. Nos. 6, 15.) Each motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff may file a sealed copy of the video with the Clerk of Court, as well as a public copy which blurs or otherwise redacts the faces of any nonparties in the video, such that they cannot be identified.”

So the video will be made public as long as the faces of everyone who is not Martinez are blurred out. This could be seen as a very partial victory for JWT in that its legal team argued earlier this month that “the Video actually demonstrates the misleading nature of the allegations in the Amended Complaint.”

Why? Because several executives who attended the meeting testified on record that they didn’t find the joke offensive. This was a pretty big pivot, though: their previous argument held that any public release of that video would endanger the JWT organization by revealing its secret strategy.

Obviously, Adweak’s joke from yesterday evening is not quite true.

This case is a bit like the 2016 election: it’s becoming very repetitive, but we still have so far to go.