Wednesday, March 3, 2004
Producer Sues Dick Clark for Age Discrimination
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
A 76-year-old game show producer has sued Dick Clark, alleging the 74-year-old Clark called him a “dinosaur” and refused to hire him because of his age.
Ralph Andrews, who produced the 1960s and ‘70s game shows “It Takes Two,” “By the Numbers” and “You Don’t Say,” filed the suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Andrews’ attorney, Phillip R. Maltin, said Clark’s actions violate the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which makes it illegal for an employer “to discriminate against a person who applies for a position based upon that person’s age.”
The suit also names Dick Clark Productions and one of its owners, Mosaic Media Group, as defendants.
Paul Shefrin, a spokesman for Dick Clark Productions, said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
In the complaint, Andrews says he spoke off and on for more than a year with Clark and other executives about joining the company and was told he would be considered for any openings.
But when he wrote Clark to say he was interested in available positions, Clark wrote back, allegedly turning Andrews down because of his age.
“I have great respect and admiration for your accomplishments, and wish you success in your desire to ‘get back to work,’” Clark’s letter read, according to the suit.
“[But] the last development guy we hired was 27 years old. Another person who is joining our staff next week is 30. People our age are considered dinosaurs! The business is being run by ‘The Next Generation.”’
Clark added, “On a brighter note, Ralph, please know that if any project comes up where we could use your experienced hands, I wouldn’t hesitate to call you.”
Among the development ideas Andrews discussed with Clark, the complaint alleges, was a project on aging. The complaint also notes that their discussion were suspended in February 2002 because Andrews needed cardiac bypass surgery, which was performed in November of that year.
The complaint also requests punitive damages, alleging that Clark and a company official acted “in a deliberate, cold, callous, and intentional manner, in conscious disregard of Mr. Andrews’ rights and in order to injure and damage him.”
It lists a single cause of action for age discrimination under California law.
Andrews told The Associated Press he has known Clark for 40 years and hired him on several game shows, including a brief 1997 revival of “It Takes Two.”
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company