A former assistant on Friends is suing the show's writers and studios for harassment. The Times of India describes her allegations:
Male writers on the hit sitcom Friends joked about wanting to have sex with the female stars, according to a lawsuit filed by a former show assistant.
According to a website [blogger's note: that may be the lamest attribution in the history of journalism], the scribes also questioned the sexuality of star David Schwimmer, who plays Ross, and joked about turning Matt LeBlanc?s character Joey into a serial rapist…
"I would have to listen to comments about the sexual conduct many of the writers would like to do with Courteney Cox (Monica) and Jennifer Aniston," the complaint said. "They would make jokes about whether Courteney Cox was competently sexually servicing her boyfriend at the time, David Arquette."
The writers deny the charges, while also asserting that talk about sex is a "creative necessity" for writing the series.
Much as I relish the thought of punishing anyone involved with producing Friends, I have to stick with my principles here and say that the government has no business interfering with workplace banter. Still, with a Friends spinoff called Joey in the works, I'm starting to wonder whether a chilling effect is an entirely bad thing.
[Thanks to Sara Rimensyder for the tip.]
Update: The unidentified website turns out to be -- of course -- The Smoking Gun. You can read the plaintiff's harassment claim here.