Viacom settles gender-discrimination suit with former BET exec

BET changes its tune after initially dismissing wrongful termination suit

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)

Viacom has settled their lawsuit with ousted BET executive, Zola Mashariki after months of claiming she had no case.

Mashariki originally filed a gender discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against BET, Viacom, and the network’s former president of programming, Stephen Hill, in May after she says she was fired while on medical leave to treat breast cancer. She also accused BET of promoting a “misogynistic culture” and filed an amended complaint in September.

–Former BET exec claims ‘misogynistic culture’ in discrimination lawsuit–

At the time, lawyers for the network insisted Mashariki had no case and responded to her claims by saying her “First Amended Complaint and each of its purported claims for relief fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Now that the sides have come to an agreement, BET is changing its tune.

“As Head of Original Programming, Zola Mashariki brought fresh new content and top-notch talent to BET Networks,” BET said in a statement to Deadline.

“We thank Ms. Mashariki for her many valuable contributions, and our thoughts are with her and her family as she focuses on her health. The litigation between the parties has been resolved. Neither party will make any further comment on this matter.”

We can’t help but wonder if the recent flood of sexual assault and misconduct claims against some of the entertainment industry’s most influential names encouraged the network to play nice and avoid more controversy.