With seven years in with the hit TV series Law & Order: SVU and over 27 years of experience in the industry, colorist Charlotte Grau is now out of a job. But she’s fighting back. Grau claims in an employment lawsuit recently filed in LA that she was fired for taking medical leave and for raising serious concerns about gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Grau asserts that the historically male-dominated post-production industry in Hollywood made her job at NBC Universal with SVU difficult. She asserts that her coworkers and the studio systematically worked to destroy her reputation as a colorist over time and that she was underpaid for overtime work in comparison to her male colleagues.
In 2011, Grau was took medical leave after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She was away from the studio for three months battling the cancer and, upon her return, she was moved to another show despite having worked on SVU for the past seven years.
She was moved to the show Grimm but was not given the opportunity to succeed in this new role. She was scapegoated for technical problems, according to her lawsuit, and denied necessary training. In the spring of 2012, Grau was laid off from NBC Universal. The studio claimed that there was simply no work for her.
Grau asserts that NBC’s purported reason for her termination is nothing but a disguise for the studio retaliating against her for taking medical leave and for raising concerns about discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Ex-‘Law & Order’ Staffer Sues NBC Universal Claiming Sex Bias,” March 15, 2013