Film producer Randall Emmett has tentatively settled a lawsuit filed by a former assistant who accused him of racial discrimination and creating a hostile workplace that involved using the N-word.
Martin G’Blae, 29, who worked at production company Emmett/Furla Oasis for much of 2020, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month. The complaint contained 24 allegations of alleged rights violations, including Emmett allegedly asking G’Blae to transport cocaine and filing an insurance claim for a missing Rolls Royce, which G’Blae had claimed was not actually stolen.
G’Blae had served as a production assistant on Emmett’s action film, Midnight in the Switchgrass, starring Bruce Willis.
G’Blae, who is black, had claimed racial discrimination was a factor in his termination.
“The parties have discussed their claims and potential claims against each other, and as a result of that discussion, Mr. G’Blae’s complaint is dismissed with prejudice,” G’Blae’s attorney Young K. Park said in a brief statement Wednesday. Park declined to comment further.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Mr. G’Blae has elected to dismiss his lawsuit and Mr. Emmett has agreed not to pursue claims for damages against him for false allegations,” Suann MacIsaac, Emmett’s attorney at the law firm Kinsella Weitzman, said in a statement. “The matter is now complete.”
Lawyers for G’Blae and representatives for Emmett and his business partner George Furla worked to quickly resolve the complaint, which alleged Emmett made racist comments about black performers, including rappers 50 Cent, Cardi B and Quavo. Both sides seemed motivated to avoid a protracted legal battle or a bruise trial.
Quavo, an Atlanta rapper, is starring in the Emmett-directed Robert De Niro film Salvage Salvation, slated for release next month.
Several of G’Blae’s grievances were detailed in a Los Angeles Times investigation last summer into Emmett’s crumbling empire. The Times details allegations of mistreatment of women, assistants and investors who poured millions of dollars into Emmett’s film projects. Several financiers are now suing Emmett and Furla for civil fraud, which both men deny.
The filing comes amid a rising tide of discontent among Hollywood assistants, who have spoken out about low wages and harsh treatment by Hollywood executives.
A Hollywood fixture for two decades, Emmett has produced more than 120 films, including low-budget action films starring Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson. Emmett has also co-produced critically acclaimed films including Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor and two Martin Scorsese films, Silence and the Oscar-nominated The Irishman for Netflix.
G’Blae, who was paid $1,500 every two weeks, said in the complaint that he was on call 12 hours a day and on weekends, resulting in pay that amounted to less than the California minimum wage. In addition, G’Blae was often asked to cover Emmett’s personal expenses, including meals and lodging — with no full reimbursement.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-11-16/randall-emmett-settles-former-assistant-racial-discrimination-lawsuit Randall Emmett settles racial discrimination lawsuit