William James Jr. who is an actor has sued two Disney units accusing them of firing him on his first day of paternity leave and also claims that “Lion King musical actress who’s also a Marvel star pestered male co-stars for sex and warned one she’d limit his chances to understudy for Mufasa if he resisted her advances”.
The Daily Mail has the details;
An actor has lodged a lawsuit against two Disney units accusing them of firing him on his first day of paternity leave – and claims a female actress-turned-director pestered actors for s*x. William James Jr had been part of the Lion King ensemble for three years and was also an understudy for Mufasa before he was sacked.
The actor is accusing the production of violating the New York state and City Human Rights Laws, as well as accusing actress and director Ameena Kaplan of s*xually harassing him and other male employees. Kaplan, who has appeared in Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War and Endgame, allegedly asked James Jr and other male workers to meet privately after work.
She then reportedly suggested that she could limit his role as an understudy for Mufasa in retaliation for rejecting her advances. The lawsuit accuses Disney of turning a ‘collective blind-eye’ to James Jr’s allegations about the ‘hostile work environment.’
James Jr claims he was told that he needed to ‘correct his behavior’ and act better towards Kaplan, claiming they ‘condoned and supported’ her instead. He brought the lawsuit after Actors Equity, which represents Broadway and national tour performers, filed a grievance on his behalf and investigated the incident.
It also claims that Disney ‘did not train, supervise or instruct its employees, or management’ on how to properly handle allegations of discrimination. The suit claims that Actors Equity corroborates his s*xual harassment allegations, but Disney ‘did not care’.
James Jr claims he suffered ‘severe emotional distress’ and ‘physical humiliation’ as well as ‘anxiety, depression, anger and loss of employment opportunities.’ His suit is calling for Disney and the other defendants to pay an unspecified amount in damages for the ‘mental, emotional and physical injury’ he has allegedly suffered.
The legal claim is also asking for a court declaration that Disney engaged in unlawful employment practices.
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