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Friday, April 8, 2011

Lucasfilm Sexism Suit Won't Be Tossed, Judge Rules

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 8:49 AM

click to enlarge What's so prim and proper about this?
  • What's so prim and proper about this?

A federal judge has rejected a request by Lucasfilm consultant Donald Bies to dismiss a lawsuit claiming he got a co-worker fired by calling her a slut. 

 "It is so great that the court reconsidered the facts. For me this is what the court system is all about. And that's justice. And that is what this judge did," said Angela Alioto, an attorney representing Tabitha Totah, an ex-Lucasfilm toy marketer.

A court had previously rejected a related claim against Lucasfilm. Federal Judge Maxine Chesney determined Totah had failed to prove that the company discriminated against her. However, on April 6, federal district judge Claudia Wilken ruled that Totah can press forward with a claim that Bies defamed her.

In a deposition in the previous case, Bies -- who, incidentally, was one of the original operators of R2-D2, acknowledged he'd told Lucasfilm vice president Howard Roffman that Totah had a reputation for promiscuity.

"It was a bit of a joke, you know, that -- among the crew -- that she was, in quotes, loose, unquote," Bies said.

As with the previous lawsuit, the claim suggests the company behind the Star Wars universe operates under an ironic double standard. Roffman enjoys a sideline producing soft-core pornographic photo books featuring naked boys in sexualized poses, yet purportedly authorized the firing of an underling following allegations she wasn't sufficiently prim.

According to Alioto, the new ruling means she can depose Roffman, suggesting possible new light shed on sexual politics in the land of Princess Leia Organa.

We've contacted a Lucasfilm spokesman, and will report the company's response when we hear back.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly 

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