Zola Mashariki, the former head of originals at Black Entertainment Television (BET), who was ousted in March, is moving forward with a discrimination lawsuit against the network.
The suit, which was filed on Wednesday, names Viacom, BET, and former president of programming Stephen Hill and claims that there was rampant gender discrimination at the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The Company fosters a good old boys’ club atmosphere and mentality that are hostile to women and their advancement,” states the complaint. “This misogynistic culture, which marginalizes, demeans, and undervalues women, begins at the top of the corporate structure.”
“Women are grossly underrepresented in leadership positions at the Company,” she claimed. “The executive leadership of the Company is overwhelmingly male. Before Defendant Hill left BET, seven of the ten members of its executive team were men. Viacom has a similar overrepresentation of male executives, as six of the nine members of its senior management team are men. Development opportunities, including roles on critical committees, are routinely offered to male executives rather than their female counterparts.”
The complaint goes on to say that she was required to “perform more work for less pay and lower title” and is seeking unspecified damages as well as a permanent injunction against Viacom and BET from engaging in unlawful practices.