Actress Briana Thomas sues Sony Pictures Television and CBS Studios, producers of longtime soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless, ‘ alleging harassment on the set of her showrunner, Anthony “Tony” Morina.
Thomas appeared on the show in a feature role as a barista in 2018 and 2019. Legal documents filed in LA Superior Court Thursday (read here) claim in detail that meanwhile EP Morina commented on her body , made repeated advances, offered “private theater lessons”, then fired her when he was turned down.
The complaint indicates that Morina would be eyeing Thomas, complimenting his appearance and telling him that she could “really be something” on the show. He allegedly asked her to take off a sarong so he could see her in a bikini in a scene by the pool.
“It’s a tough industry to break into unless you know someone who can help you out,” he reportedly said, touching her waist while playing with her bikini thongs. “Let’s start with a private session and see if we can make you a little more comfortable,” he said in the costume.
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Searching for a variety of damages, “unpaid wages, bonuses and statutory penalties” and costs, the nine discrimination and retaliation claim complaint explains very precisely how Thomas claims his stint at “Y&R” ended.
“After pushing back on her advances for months, Morina began to retaliate against the complainant and at one point blew her up in front of other employees and colleagues,” the 22-page record reads. Morina started yelling at the complainant and saying that she was ‘just an extra’ and that there would be ‘no role for (her)’ while cursing and verbally insulting the complainant and letting her go. ‘humiliating in front of other staff,’ he adds. “Morina also told the Applicant that he was the one to decide whether the Applicant’s presence on ‘Y&R’ continued.”
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“Morina then said to the plaintiff ‘I am the reason you have a job. I am doing you a favor. I love you. Do you understand what I am saying?'” Said the complaint. “Morina proposed again to the applicant during his tirade. “
“After the plaintiff again refused his advances, Morina’s voice grew even louder as he spat more curses and insults,” the paperwork notes. “The plaintiff was shocked, embarrassed and upset after the Morin attack. After the claimant left work that day, she received an email stating that her job was terminated and that she was no longer needed on the show. “
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Thomas’ lead attorney, Carney Shegerian, has already taken legal action against television producers. He attacked Fremantle in 2012 for the alleged treatment of a pregnant “Price is Right” model, Brandi Cochran.
CBS did not respond to a request for comment on Thomas’ action. Sony TV declined to comment on the matter.
Dominic Patten of Deadline contributed to this report.
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