Uh oh, more hot water for The Bachelor franchise.
Amid all of the sexual harassment allegations coming to light, former producer for the ABC dating series, Becky Steenhoek, has come forward with a lawsuit against Warner Brothers and several of the show’s producers on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The court docs name Caitlin Stapleton, Bennett Graebner, Elan Gale, Peter Scalettar, Jacqueline Naz Perez, in addition to creator Mike Fleiss‘ production company NZK Productions.
According to Steenhoek, she was repeatedly asked very intimate questions about her sex life, which she says were made to make her feel uncomfortable during her time on JoJo Fletcher‘s season in 2016.
She says the questions often included:
“Is your vagina shaved?,” “Have you ever fondled [testicles] before?,” and “Have you ever sat under a shower faucet or touched yourself to masturbate?” … “How often do you masturbate?,” “Do you own sex toys/dildos?,” “Have you ever had anal sex?,” “Do you enjoy giving hand jobs?,” “Is your vagina shaved?,” “Do you have a landing strip?” “Has a man ever got your ‘taco’ talking?”
The 31-year-old — who has since moved back to Texas — told the LA Times that she was “raised in a Christian household” and the prodding was meant to embarrass her:
“You could visibly tell it was very uncomfortable to me to witness, just because they did make comments like, ‘Oh, Becky’s blushing,’ or ‘Her ears are probably burning.’ It was a bit of a theme that carried on throughout the season … it was a fun time for them to see me get embarrassed.”
She even went to cast producer Stapleton, who she says told her at the time:
“She just told me, ‘Listen, this is just how it is. These are middle-aged white men. This is locker-room talk. This is their way of showing that they’re trying to bond with you.'”
After her complaint to Stapleton, Steenhoek says she began being excluded from meetings and given less responsibility until she was ultimately fired.
When she asked producer Bennett Graebner the reason for her termination, he allegedly told her she was not being enough of a “bitch”:
“When I was hired for the job, the reason they told me I was being hired because I did have the morals and they felt I was a good person. And then here I am being fired because of that reason.”
She is suing for damages for sexual harassment and hostile work environment, sex discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful termination.
Of the entire ordeal, Becky said:
“It tainted my whole view of the industry. I wasn’t protected. When we sign our paperwork, we’re given a sexual harassment policy that says ├óΓé¼╦£any unwanted ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ whether it’s verbal or physical ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ sexual advances that makes the person feel uncomfortable and is unwelcome, that you’re supposed to report that and it’s not allowed.’ I think it’s an industry-wide problem ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ these executives are untouchable. If you report it, you get retaliated against, you get fired because then you’re not a team player. If you don’t report it, then it was essentially me not being me. I would have had to sacrifice my values and my morals for something I didn’t think was right, and I’m not gonna do that.”
Warner Bros. has responded in a statement, saying:
“We take all allegations of workplace harassment very seriously. These allegations were brought to our attention and were thoroughly investigated earlier this year. Our findings did not support the plaintiff’s characterization of the events claimed to have taken place, which is why we are disappointed by the filing of this lawsuit.”
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
[Image via Facebook.]