Former TMZ Employee Sues Outlet Over Sexism Allegations

(Credit: Shutterstock Stanislau Palaukou)

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Former employee of TMZ, Bernadette Zilio, has accused the outlet of firing her after she complained of a sexist work environment.

Zilio claimed the working environment at the outlet was a “100% a bro fest” and a “[f]reaking frat house” in her lawsuit, according to an article published Tuesday by Page Six. Zilio filed her lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles.

Zilio claimed she and other females at the outlet were “belittled and abused, held to different and more stringent standards … denied advancement opportunities, and retaliated against when [they] resisted the sexist and misogynistic ways,” according to Page Six.

“Ms. Zilio’s experience demonstrates the exact opposite approach at Warner Bros. and EHM Productions, where Ms. Zilio was shunned after she first complained, fired after she complained a second time, and then threatened if she dared to speak publicly about her experiences,” Zilio’s lawyers David E. Gottlieb and Bryan L. Arbeit told Page Six. (RELATED: ‘The Ellen Show’ Sees Lowest Ratings Amid Reports Of Toxic Work Environment, Sexual Misconduct)

Zilio claimed she was let go days after Warner Bros. and EHM’s Human Resources “rejected” her complaints of sexism and “accepted the excuses” her supervisors reportedly gave for her firing.

A spokesperson for TMZ and sister site TooFab claimed Zilio was fired for good reason.

“This is a blatant attempt to use negative publicity and inaccurate claims to force TooFab and TMZ to pay a monetary settlement,” the spokesperson said told the outlet. “We will vigorously defend against any attempt to mischaracterize what is a legal and justified employment decision.”