ABC Studios elected to keep Greg St. Johns on as the directory of photography for CBS procedural Criminal Minds despite numerous complaints of harassment and abuse, according to a report by Variety. In interviews with 19 former and current crew members, all but one say they witnessed St. Johns touching male crew members inappropriately. They all alleged that St. Johns was verbally abusive and allegedly terminated anyone who complained. The show’s former digital imaging technician, Tony Matulic, worked on the show for eight seasons before he was let go after asking St. Johns to stop touching him. He currently has a complaint pending with the state of California over his termination.
St. Johns allegedly made a habit of flicking male crew members’s nipples and grabbing their rear ends, inner thighs, and genitals. Donnell Turner, a former stand-in on the show who is now a cast member on General Hospital, said he witnessed the DP touching male crew members. “He’s a tyrant,” Turner told Variety. “By literal definition, he is a tyrant, and I feel sorry for anyone that works under him.” Another crew member alleges that St. Johns once pulled his gym shorts down, exposing his genitals to the crew, in an incident multiple others told Variety they witnessed. That crew member reported it, but was then let go at the end of the season, allegedly for not getting along with St. Johns.
Many who spoke out about St. Johns’s alleged abuse say they informed senior staffers or HR, only to see no further action taken. In January, an anonymous email was sent to the show’s entire crew demanding an HR investigation of St. Johns, which was apparently completed in February. Crew members claimed that St. Johns’s long tenure on the show has given him institutional knowledge that the show’s producers are overly reliant on, resulting in what they allege is a reluctance to take action against him. “I think the people that empower and enable him are culpable,” said one former crew member. “They keep cleaning up his mess.”