When Oprah Winfrey started her own television network, there were a lot of positive aspects about it. However, there were also dangers for the talk show queen. The Hollywood Gossip reported on Feb. 2 that Oprah was hit with a lawsuit that accuses her network of sexual discrimination.
A female executive with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) alleges that the network fired her after getting pregnant.
Carolyn Hommel filed the lawsuit on Feb. 1 and said she was hired as senior director of scheduling and acquisitions for OWN in 2012 and was informed she was on her way to becoming a Vice President. However, after becoming pregnant, those plans changed. When she returned from medical leave, she was excluded from meetings and her duties were transferred to others.
One month after giving birth, Hommel said OWN fired her and told her she could re-apply, but then denied her application. She also accuses her former boss of fabricating performance reviews in the wake of her termination. She said OWN, after firing her, created documents to make it look like she was not a good candidate for the Vice President job.
Neither Oprah Winfrey nor OWN has responded to the lawsuit yet.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.