LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A Hollywood union has
accused an executive producer of "Law & Order: SVU" of making
racist and sexist remarks, claiming he often refers to
Asian-Americans as "Chinamen."
The Intl. Assn. of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) said
it has complained to the show's producer, NBC Universal
Television, in three instances involving allegations against
executive producer Ted Kotcheff over the past three years.
In the latest allegation, Kotcheff is accused of referring
to a crew member as Stepin Fetchit, an old Hollywood stereotype
denoting a servile, simple-minded black man.
The union said its attorneys notified NBC Universal brass
in a letter dated April 7 that Kotcheff also told the crew
member to "get your Caribbean ass out of here -- go back to the
The letter also claims Kotcheff "frequently refers to Asian
Americans as 'Chinamen' and describes women in sexually
derogatory and demeaning terms," according to an IATSE press
release distributed Wednesday.
"This kind of racist and sexist behavior is unacceptable in
today's workplace," IATSE president Thomas Short said in a
statement. "We're here to protect our members, and when a
network or studio ignores repeated requests to discipline those
who are accused of these actions, the message they are sending
is very clear. They don't care."
Kotcheff made a "half-hearted" apology after one complaint
about his alleged behavior, the IATSE said. But the apology
"included a demeaning remark, rendering it moot," it added.
A spokesman for NBC Universal said the studio takes the
claims "very seriously ... We investigate complaints of alleged
workplace misconduct and take appropriate action based on our
findings. However, we do not comment publicly on such personnel