A development VP has been placed on leave from Vin Di Bona Productions, which produces America’s Funniest Home Videos, pending an investigation into claims of racial and sexual harassment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Multiple women have accused Philip Shafran of inappropriate conduct, with one additionally accusing him of racial harassment. Jane Roe 1, one of the complainants, said Shafran and another unnamed supervisor repeatedly made comments to her using racial stereotypes. She claims that the unnamed supervisor stood at a podium during a company event and told her, apparently as a joke, “Stop doing blow in the bathroom, crack whore.” Jane Doe 1 also claims that the unnamed supervisor said she would never develop any shows for the company because “there’s no basketball show to make.”
A complaint from Jane Roe 2 alleges that Shafran sexually assaulted her in his office, and Jane Roe 3 helped to ensure that her co-worker was not in meetings alone with Shafran after that occasion. After expressing to management that they felt unsafe, both women were fired. Jane Roe 1 was also fired after reporting harassment. She was told by the company that it was eliminating her position entirely, but the complaint states, “At that time the company was hiring for at least one position with the same job duties as that of Roe 1, in addition to other positions for which she was qualified.”
An attorney for VDB says, “We take the allegations that have been made very seriously. Our first and highest priority is making sure that all of our employees feel safe and respected in the workplace at all times. We are thoroughly investigating the facts underlying these disturbing allegations.” The claims of the plaintiffs, who are seeking damages, address specific inappropriate behavior, as well “a culture of purported reprisal,” according to THR.