A former stage manager for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon has filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal, Fallon, and employees of Late Night, alleging that the show has a gender bias. In papers filed in New York on Jan. 10, Paul Tarascio–a former stage manager for Late Night With Conan O’Brien–claims he was demoted to while working for Fallon after being told by Late Night director David Diomdi, “Jimmy just prefers to take direction from a woman.” Tarascio–who says he was told he had received his first job as a “last resort” because a woman was not available–alleges that he was then replaced by “a less qualified woman” who was “immediately a disaster.” When he complained about being replaced by a woman, Tarascio says he was told, “You know Jimmy. He loves his woman.”
The court papers obtained by EW claim Tarascio was fired after he had complained to show officials and union representatives, and that his position was allegedly filled by a woman. “Mr. Fallon’s conduct and attitudes towards show positions further evidences the gender bias which resulted in the discriminatory conduct towards [Tarascio],” the lawsuit reads. Tarascio is seeking punitive damages; reps for Late Night and Jimmy Fallon have yet to respond to EW’s request for comment. NBC is facing another late-night related lawsuit: Jay Leno and the network has been sued by a religious organization leader who took issue with the host’s jab linking Mitt Romney’s wealth and a Sikh religious site.