A former Fox News makeup stylist named Juan Legramandi is alleging that he was fired by Fox News in Sept. 2018 after he repeatedly complained about facing discrimination in the workplace.
Legramandi filed a 21-page lawsuit in New York federal court today, referring to himself as “a homosexual male of Columbian heritage,” and stating that within months of his January 2017 hiring as a freelance makeup stylist, another Fox News employee named Gavina Valdez began harassing him. At one point, Valdez allegedly told him, “You are a diva but since I’m the one with twenty-plus years of experience as a salon owner, I’m the only diva allowed here.”
Legramandi alleges that he complained about the remark to his supervisor, Fox News and FBN senior vp of programming operations Jill Van Why, but that no action was taken.
In fact, several days later, Van Why allegedly asked Legramandi at a meeting whether there was “anything romantic” between him and Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano. Van Why allegedly referenced rumors and made “discriminatory insinuations” about his sexual orientation during the conversation.
But that’s not the only instance of discrimination Legramandi alleges in his lawsuit.
On one occasion in Sept. 2017, Outnumbered Overtime anchor Harris Faulkner was getting her hair done when a news story came on a nearby monitor. Faulkner, referred to in the lawsuit as someone “who held substantial control over authority over Plaintiff’s employment,” allegedly said, “Hispanic women are so ignorant.” When Legramandi reacted by telling her that he was born in Columbia, Faulkner allegedly said, “Your family is from a third world country.”
At another point in Feb. 2018, Angela McGlowan, a Fox News political commentator, entered the studio’s green room, and walking past Legramandi and another openly gay stylist, allegedly commented, “Ugh! It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah in here.”
Director of campus programs & diversity outreach at Fox News and vp of diversity of inclusion at Fox Corp. Marsheila Hayes is also being named as a defendant in the suit.
TMZ first reported the filing of the lawsuit.
Legramandi’s lawsuit asserts that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is being violated, which, ironically, is the same law that the U.S. Supreme Court spent time considering at a hearing on Tuesday focused on employment discrimination against gay and transgender workers.
Legramandi is also claiming a violation of older federal civil rights statutes that will get attention at an upcoming hearing involving alleged bias on the part of Comcast.
Fox News provided TVNewser with the following statement in regard to Legramandi’s lawsuit: “FOX News denies these allegations and will vigorously defend against these baseless claims.”
Below, is the lawsuit: