Disney Sued For Sexual Orientation Discrimination By Longtime Executive


oi-Sanyukta Thakare


Published: Thursday, June 3, 2021, 10:39 [IST]

Walt Disney at the beginning of Pride Month has been hit with a sexual orientation discrimination suit by a longtime executive Joel Hopkins, claiming he was put on a dead-end career track and was denied promotion with no remedy from HR.



Photo Credit: nellingsworth


Filed by attorneys of Joel Hopkins in Los Angeles Superior Court on the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the complaint says Joel had reached out to HR about the discrimination repeatedly but was denied any help. The named defendants in the suit are the Walt Disney Company, ABC Signature Studios, Inc., and Riverside Television Services LLC.

Joel in the 10-page filing for sexual orientation discrimination said that the company also failed to “promote him and to pay him at the same level as other department heads,” while others were being promoted “despite representations that Disney was hurting financially and not Promoting.”

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The suit has been filed under failure to prevent discrimination in violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

“After his sexual orientation became known to his superiors and after being discriminated against and put on a dead-end career track and repeatedly denied promotions with no remedy or relief from HR, Plaintiff is informed and believes that yet again, in or around April 2021 , several promotions occurred, but Plaintiff once again was not promoted,” added the filing.

Hopkins reportedly joined the company in 1994 as a Director of Production Finance for Buena Vista TV and was promoted to VP Production Finance for Touchstone TV in 2000. Deadline reported that he is currently working as a VP of Production Finance at the 2020-formed ABC Signature .

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Hopkins through the suit is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and various lawsuit costs that could rack up over time, and what he could have earned if he would have been promoted over the decades.

Disney is yet to respond to the suit publicly.

Story first published: Thursday, June 3, 2021, 10:39 [IST]

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