Ghen Maynard, who was brought back to CBS three years ago to revive its unscripted department, has launched a discrimination lawsuit against the company after apparently being terminated last month. According to a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, the firing occurred after an investigation into an allegation that he mistreated a female coworker.
Maynard was responsible for developing such shows as Survivor, Big Brother and The Amazing Race. More recently, he worked on BH90210, an offshoot of Beverly Hills 90210 where the stars played heightened versions of themselves. He also takes credit for making the deal to bring Tiffany Haddish to host Kids Say the Darndest Things and selling Whistleblower to CBS. In 2016, Maynard became senior executive vp alternative programming at CBS’ in-house operations.
In his age and race discrimination lawsuit, the Japan-born Maynard says he is the “only non-white executive at CBS Studios” and that the CBS workplace hasn’t improved since the departure of CEO Leslie Moonves, who left the company amid a sexual misconduct scandal last year.
“Since Mr. Moonves’ departure, CBS has become a radically different place,” states the complaint. “Despite blaming all of its problems on Mr. Moonves and claiming that it has taken steps to improve race and gender issues at the Company, today’s CBS ‘leaders,’ those making the key decisions on such issues, are all white males, whose decisions belie CBS’ self-serving rhetoric.”
Maynard alleges his personal experiences confirm discrimination against minorities at CBS. At meetings, minorities are relegated to sit in the back rows, he says, adding that sometimes, they are often excluded from attending altogether. Maynard says he’s been told that other CBS executives are “threatened” by him and that his work has been unfairly disparaged. He also points to the termination in September of Angelica McDaniels, an executive in the daytime programs division.