The former director of the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” show is suing the program’s executive producer, alleging he was fired because of his age.
Robert Levy, 64, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Woody Fraser, Woody Fraser Productions Inc., Woody Fraser Enterprises Inc. and Crown Media United States LLC. Crown Media owns the Hallmark Channel.
The suit’s allegations include wrongful termination, age discrimination, retaliation, defamation and negligent supervision and retention. Levy seeks unspecified damages.
A representative for Fraser could not be immediately reached.
“Home & Family” is a two-hour show that airs weekdays and is hosted by Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines. It periodically includes program specials that air in primetime, the suit states.
According to the lawsuit, Levy was hired as the show’s director before production began in 2012. The show previously ran from 1996-98 on the Family Channel, the suit states.
Although Levy “performed exemplary” during the show’s first three seasons, Fraser “harassed and abused” the plaintiff because of his age and criticized him in a way that made him feel his “age was unwelcome,.” the suit alleges.
Fraser used a particular epithet in reference to Levy often and the plaintiff received a pillow with the both same word and the image of a rooster on it as a “present,” the suit states.
In a letter written to Levy in June, Fraser criticized the plaintiff’s direction of a primetime special, falsely accusing him of causing “incalculable damage” to the program and calling his work “slip-shod,” the suit states.
“I am not going to use you for any of the upcoming specials,” Fraser wrote, according to the lawsuit.
Fraser fired Levy July 24, telling the plaintiff he “wanted to go in a different direction,” the suit states.
Levy believes his replacement had inferior qualifications and was under 40 years old, the suit states. The suit also alleges Fraser should have been more properly supervised by management or fired so that Levy could have done his job in a better work environment.
Levy has not been able to find another job, the suit states.
—City News Service