Sony, the studio behind NBC’s James Spader drama series “The Blacklist,” has been sued for wrongful termination by a former executive producer on the show.
Variety reports that Michael Watkins, a veteran TV director and cinematographer who was an EP on “The Blacklist” for several seasons, alleges in the suit that he was fired after being wrongfully blamed for a scuffle on the set.
“According to his suit, he was fired in February 2018 after he allegedly ‘laid hands’ on a male camera assistant,” Variety reports. “Watkins alleges that the claim was never investigated, and that if it had been, the company would have discovered that it was the assistant who [became] frustrated and laid hands on Watkins.”
Variety adds: “Watkins claims that Laura Benson, a co-executive producer on the show, used the incident as a pretext ‘in order to facilitate her own rise in position and power’ on the show. He also alleges that after he was gone, executives bad-mouthed him to various people, saying that he was ‘blackballed’ at Sony for the ‘beating’ of the camera assistant.”