TV host Dr. Ian Smith is charging ViacomCBS and Dr. Phil’s Stage 29 Productions with wrongfully firing him after he spoke out about racial discrimination behind the scenes on the medical advice show, The Doctors.
Smith has filed an unlawful discriminatory practices complaint with the New York Division of Human Rights charging that he was fired after pointing out that black hosts had fewer opportunities and were paid less on the TV series, according to TheRoot.com.
Per the complaint, Smith claimed:
African Americans hosts were on fewer shows than white hosts.
African American hosts were paid less than white hosts.
African American hosts were not in as many integration segments as white hosts. An African American associate producer told Dr. Rachel [Ross] that the Companies were asking for white only talent for integration segments, which explains the lack of diversity.
There were not enough African American producers. Out of approximately 24 producers, only one was African American.
Smith, who first appeared on The Doctors in 2014, was made the sole host of the series in 2020, “in the wake of the civil unrest and protests following the killing of George Floyd,” he said. But he notes that when he approached the producers with his concerns in January of this year, he was quickly fired.
The 52-year-old weight loss expert also alleges that executive producer Patty Ciano harassed him, made inappropriate remarks about his body, and told him to wear tighter clothing on camera. He adds that when he complained about the treatment, CBS said it would investigate, but never followed through on that promise.
Smith’s complaint also cites claims by co-host Dr. Racheal Ross who also warmed about “a lack of diversity and racism” on the show, Deadline reported.
“If my client didn’t complain about racism, he would still be the host of The Doctors,” Smith’s lawyer Rick Ostrove said on Monday. “His repeated complaints are a show of courage,” the Leeds Brown Law, P.C attorney added. “He stuck his neck out to make the industry more inclusive and make the world a better place. We are exceptionally confident that we will prevail in this case and look forward to trial.”
According to reports, Smith has been replaced on The Doctors by white host, Dr. Andrew P. Ordon.
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