‘Bachelorette’ Producer Sues Warner Bros. For Sexual Harassment
A female producer of “The Bachelorette” has accused several other producers on the show for sexual harassment and has filed a suit against Warner Bros. Entertainment as a result.
The former employee, Becky Steenhoek, claims that her fellow producers on the show repeatedly embarrassed her by asking her sexually invasive questions throughout the 2016 season featuring Jojo Fletcher, the Lost Angeles Times reports.
Steenhoek, who grew up in a Christian household, claims that five of the show’s executive and cast producers asked inappropriate questions about her sex life to intentionally make her uncomfortable.
“Is your vagina shaved?,” “Have you ever fondled [testicles] before?” and “Have you ever sat under a shower faucet or touched yourself to masturbate?,” were just some of the examples that Steenhoek revealed to The Times.
“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,'” Steenhoek said. “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.”
To make things worse, Steenhoek also claims that she complained about the alleged abuse to cast producer Caitlin Stapleton, who told her, “This is the way of the industry and world that we work in.”
“She just told me, ‘Listen, this is just how it is,'” Steenhoek recalled. “‘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.'”
Shortly after her conversation with Stapleton, Steenhoek was excluded from production meetings and later fired from the show.
The former producer is suing for damages from the sexual harassment and hostile work environment, sex discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination, The Times reports.
“We take all allegations of workplace harassment very seriously,” Warner Bros. said in a statement regarding the suit. “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.”