Former Artistic Director Sues Geffen Playhouse for Age Discrimination

Former Artistic Director Sues Geffen Playhouse for Age Discrimination

According to Deadline, former artistic director of Geffen Playhouse Randall Arney has sued the theater for "age and disability discrimination, fraud, slander and 'a succession of lies.'"

The lawsuit came just one day after the announcement of Geffen's newest artistic director, Matt Shakman, who is 20 years younger than Arney. Arney, who worked at Geffen for over 17 years, claims that in 2012 co-chairs Pamela Henderson and Martha Robinson "abruptly and without explanation changed the terms of his employment presenting him with a contract limiting his employment to two years." This was also around the time Shakman directed his first show at Geffen, the West Coast Premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire's Tony Award-nominated Good People.

The suit goes on to say that, "In 2015, the Geffen presented Arney with a new written employment contract. Like the previous contract, the term was for two years; this time, however, the Geffen purged from the contract the provision giving it the option to extend for another year. Arney was 58 years old when the Geffen struck the extension option."

And on February 13, 2017, Arney was called into a last minute meeting with Henderson and Robinson in which they told him his contract would not be renewed. The following day, the suit mentions that a letter containing false information was sent to the Geffen board by Henderson and Robinson saying that Arney chose to leave the theater to focus on directing and other professional goals. The same letter was also leaked to the media.

Attorney Sana Swe from the Law Offices of Sana Swe in Los Angeles will be representing Arney in the case, which is demanding a jury trial.

Read the full article here.

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