A woman who worked on TV game show ”The Price is Right” for 24 years has sued former host Bob Barker and the program’s producers claiming she was forced to quit due to sexual harassment and other issues.
In the suit, attorneys for Deborah Curling detail a long series of events they claim show sexual harassment, racial discrimination and the creation of a hostile work environment by Barker. Broadcaster CBS and producer FremantleMedia North America knew of the problem, the suit claims.
The suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, said Curling testified in a case brought by another ex-employee, Linda Riegert, against the show. As a result, Curling, who is black, claims she was demoted, physically threatened and that her job became intolerable.
“Defendants ... willfully, knowingly and intentionally retaliated against (Curling) for testifying truthfully by forcing her to quit her job,” the lawsuit said.
The suit further added that Curling and other employees were “exposed to sexual and mental harassment, abuse, and racial discrimination,” and claims “the producers and director of (”The Price is Right”) were ’equal opportunity offenders.”’
A CBS spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Barker. A representative for FremantleMedia could not immediately be reached.
The suit seeks compensatory, punitive and other damages.
Barker, 83, retired this past June after spending 35 years as emcee of “Price is Right,” in which contestants competed for prizes by guess the price on household and other products.
In the past, Barker had run afoul of other ex-employees who claimed he harassed them sexually or otherwise. Many of those suits were either settled out of court or dismissed. Curling’s suit cites several of those other cases.
CBS is a unit of U.S. media company CBS Corp, and FremantleMedia is owned by European TV and radio company RTL Group Plc.