NBC Lawsuit: The Network’s Desire for ‘Attractive Employees’ Created a ‘Toxic Environment’

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A former NBC employee claims the network blatantly looked for "good-looking employees" and asked that she submit photos before being allowed to interview.

Stephanie Belanger has filed a lawsuit against the network, claiming that NBC's focus on beauty enabled a toxic, discriminatory environment, the New York Post reported Monday.

In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Belanger alleges disability discrimination, sexual harassment, and termination after she complained.

When Belanger was first contacted for a job as an audio-visual coordinator, the recruiter told her that NBC "specifically asked for good-looking employees."

The recruiter asked her "to show her Facebook/Instagram profile to NBC before she could be interviewed," according to the lawsuit.

Belanger was ultimately hired for the position, and according to the court filing, was subsequently subjected to harassment and discrimination. She alleges that her supervisor, John Carleo, called her "a whore," bragged that he had "the hottest coordinator in the office," and referred to himself as "the boyfriend with no benefits."

The network did nothing in response to her complaints, according to Belanger.

While employed, Belanger suffered two seizures at work as a result of epilepsy. She was briefly hospitalized and treated with medication that caused "emotional outbursts."

The lawsuit claims Belanger was demoted and her salary reduced after her second seizure. 

Her lawer, Daniel Kaiser, told the Post that the company's apparent desire for attractive employees helped create a toxic workplace.

The allegations follow a number of high profile discrimination suits filed against large media outlets—including the New York Times, CNN, and Fox News—in 2017.

Kathryn Covert

Kathryn Covert   Email Kathryn | Full Bio | RSS
Kathryn Covert is deputy news editor for the Washington Free Beacon. Kathryn is a Wisconsin native and Navy veteran who resides in the D.C. metro area. You can find her on Twitter @covertwrites.

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