Friday, July 30, 2010

Jimmy Fallon Accused Of Sex Discrimination - What Do You Think?


This is not what you might think from the headline. Yes, Jimmy Fallon has had a sex discrimination lawsuit filed against him. But, the complaint is from a man. It turns out that Paul Tarascio, who worked for 14 years for Coco, stayed on when Jimmy Fallon started hosting Late Night. He says that he was demoted because Jimmy Fallon wanted a woman to be in charge and that Jimmy "preferred taking direction from a woman." He went on to say that he was demoted and that a lesser qualified woman was out in his job and that when he complained he was fired for fabricated performance reasons.

Now, this is an interesting discussion. Imagine if Paul were a woman and was replaced by a less qualified man. We would all be jumping up and down and saying that Jimmy should be ashamed and go on and on. Why is it that as I write this that I don't feel that outrage in this situation. Why is it that I believe Jimmy probably did fire this guy for performance reasons? Is it because reverse sexual discrimination is so rarely discussed?

Am I hypocritical? Who do you believe? Are you having the same mixed feelings?

29 comments:

rebellious, contrary and nice said...

No outrage from me either.

looserdude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KLM said...

I am having the same mixed feelings - I immediately assumed the guy was having performance issues, was fired, and now is trying to humiliate Jimmy Fallon by implying he can only take direction from a woman in charge (which is ridiculous that would be deemed an insult). It didn't really occur to me that he could be telling the truth, which is probably indicative of a lot more than just how our society views sexual discrimination (and more probably about how our society still views women's roles).

looserdude said...

I think he should be allowed to work with whomever he is most comfortable. Why is that even an issue?

sunnyside1213 said...

Ditto what looserdude said.

Kate said...

I've been through too many company takeovers/new CEOs, etc. This personnel upheaval happens all the time. Jimmy wanted to work with people of his choosing, not all of Conan's leftover crew, which would explain his replacement.

Although I do feel bad that I'm immediately able to dismiss the man's claims as rediculous mainly because that kind of sexual discrimination is so rarely discussed. Especially one man discriminating against another man in favor of a woman. Very rare.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

The only thing I think about this is that Jimmy Fallon must have mommy issues if he takes direction better from women. Sounds like a keeper to me. heh.

bits of moxy said...

I see Paul's side, going with he's being truthful, it's upsetting.

At one job a long time ago, there were only 2 females with higher than peon status the rest were men (with higher status). The company claimed to promote mostly on seniority/skills - I was to be the third female promoted and got passed over for the guy right below me. I was told we were both equally qualified for the promotion, they just felt more comfortable giving it to him.. Either male/female it sucks. Luckliy, I found a better job and left a month later.

JJ said...

I have a problem with him coming right out and saying it.

He could have just said he was finding new staff that he felt comfortable with.

Mooshki said...

Most CEOs would probably say they feel more comfortable working with men in all of their company's higher up positions. Is that okay? I think he has good grounds for a lawsuit.

timebob said...

To me, this is more a case of a new regime comes in. They want the players from the old regime out.

At least they didn't fire him.

Mooshki said...

On the other hand, it is less upsetting because a hell of a lot more women are discriminated against than men. Doesn't make it okay, but it's not as big a cultural problem. I feel the same way about discrimination against whites - not okay, but not a big problem.

RocketQueen said...

I'm with looserdude. Why can't Fallon choose who he wants to work with? Why does this even have to be man vs. woman? Why does this guy automatically expect to get to keep his job when there's a new boss?

Maharesred said...

I feel for the guy because he lost his job but why didn't he continue working for CoCo? There's no such thing as job security anymore, he took a chance by staying.

female_commuter_parent said...

Hi - I've never commented before (after years of "lurking") but I couldn't resist now. I know (not well) the producer of Fallon and can assure you she is not underqualified. I don't know the guy suing or anyone else at the show but it's a shame that she should be slandered like this.

KellyLynn said...

The reason why I don't buy his story is because he doesn't have detailed reasons, nor does he have anyone else corroborating his stance.
If you've paid attention to female sex discrimination cases, there are usually specific incidents reported and also other current or former employees who can bring their own anecdotes to support the claim. This is one man with one general account. That's why I can't buy it.

shakey said...

I think there's more to this. It's Fallon's show, if he has better working chemistry with another person then it stands to reason he put that person in Paul's place. He wants the show to succeed.

Paul's probably pissed because he did work with Conan for 14 years so in his eyes, anyone would be less qualified.

jax said...

if his replacement was less qualified and he can prove it,he has grounds for gender discrimination and i say sue. we'd say that if it were a woman.

3 Degrees of Frustration said...

So, is the reaction completely different in this situation than if it were a woman brining the charges? It was for me and for you (we had the same one - "it's probably just sour grapes") - and I would guess the same for the majority of folks reading this.

Is this an example of reactionary reverse discrimination? Absolutely. It's just an extension of the, "He's a man, he can take it" reflex. And it's a great example of so many things that are wrong with our society.

It's also a great example (as you well know) of why the legal profession is so vital to our society. The man is entitled to the exact, same hearing of the facts that a woman would be in the same circumstance.

Further, ANY & EVERY individual should be able to get that hearing, and that judgement, based solely on the basis of the factual, even application of the law - no politics, no prejudices.

And this is where is all falls down: People within and without of the legal profession brining personal predilections, influences, prejudices and politics to the legal process.

jess said...

I also took it as looserdude said, I didn't see it as discrimination, I saw it as in "I choose to work with people I get along and trust" It could have been another man, so what?

If the woman is there for other reasons (sex, cute to look at) besides doing what she's suppossed to do then I guess it is discrimination. I mean, is the woman doing the exact same thing as he was? is she a newbie and he has lots of experience? maybe, but it doesn't mean that she can't do it.

sunnyside1213 said...

I don't know about the other states, but CO is a right to work state. You can be demoted or let go at any time. No suing going on here.

hotchacha said...

"Reverse" sexual discrimination? As far as I know there's only sexual discrimination. Just like there's no "reverse" racism. There's only racism. It's the same thing no matter who's doing it to whom.

Ms.Leigh said...

here's an idea: maybe the guy wasn't as great at his job as he thought he was. maybe coco and fallon are looking for different things from the person in that position.

it's just meh to me. good for the woman for getting a raise and sucks for the guy, but he could've gotten lazy at his job? jimmy doesn't seem like a jerk to me, but i could be wrong.

not on my dollar said...

If it's one of those "at will" states it doesn't matter. Also being that it was a new show are they starting from scratch and the host gets to pick whomever THEY feel is best for the job in the same way as company mergers?

And one last thing, can he verify that Jimmy made those statements or is that an assumption based on events?

I don't think he has a case even if Jimmy just didn't want to work with him and he was an excellent worker. If he wins his case than I stand to be corrected.

Ms. said...

I think it's about severance pay. You can get rid of someone and hire someone you feel more comfortable with - as long as you package them out. There doesn't have to be cause. What Fallon did was get rid of the guy 'with cause' which means he didn't pay a nickle in severance.

E. DuBois said...

This story does not have the ring of truth to me. In similar situations with women they need to have some specific incidents that demonstrate that he was actively discriminated against. It sounds like he's trying to get some digs in because he didn't like the way he was let go. This is Hollywood, people are always backstabbing one another! But I suppose if his case has any merit it will come out in court.

On a related note, as a black woman I really hate the use of the term "reverse" racism/sexism. It simply doesn't exist as a phenomenon in society. It is a term used by white males who feel bad about their loss of complete, unfettered privilege. And a red herring for those "traditionalists".

K said...

@hotchacha....in reality, that's the truth. In rulings, I WISH it were that simple...the main desire is to find a work replacement or payment option that will make it all go away.

That's my job. I have had people LIE TO MY FACE that something was "race/sex/age" discrimination when it was simply that they did something at their job that they KNEW was WRONG, and when they got caught and fired, it was -anybodys-fault but their own. I am SO SICK of people that do NOT take responsiblity for their own actions!!!!!

Sorry, I'll step off my soapbox... I guess I just needed someplace to vent my frustrations.... thanks for reading what I neede to say!!!

K said...

Thank you E. DuBois.... there is no such thing as "reverse" racism. There's just mistrust and distrust on every side and every level. I really hesitate to say hatred, because my family and everybody I know is mixed on about 10 different levels...

hotchacha said...

@K,

I actually wasn't making a comment about the case at all.

The only thing I was bitching about is the word "reverse." There's no "reverse" racism or discrimination.