Former “Big Bang Theory” assistant director Christopher Klausen has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Television claiming age discrimination.
Klausen claimed he was wrongfully terminated from the hit CBS comedy based on his age, according to legal documents filed Monday at the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Now 55, the Directors’ Guild of America member was an assistant director on “Big Bang Theory” for seven years with “an outstanding performance record. Nonetheless, Mr. Klausen was discrimination, repeated demotions, and eventually terminated,” states the 25-page complaint obtained by TheWrap.
The demotions began when he hit 50, Klausen claims, after which the crew allegedly conspired to cut him out of the production.
When he confronted the show’s producer, Faye Oshima Belyeu, asking why his job duties — especially towards the young cast — were being reassigned, he was told that fellow AD’s Nicole Lorre, who was in her “early-to-mid-twenties,” and T. Ryan Brennan, in his early 30s, “related to the actors better,” according to the lawsuit. Lorre is also the daughter of Chuck Lorre, the creator of “Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.”
At the start of the sixth season, stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar were all aged around 30, states the suit, while Klausen was then 52.
Klausen’s position was eventually terminated in April 2015 after completing the filming of Season 8. He was told in a phone call from Oshima that he was being let go for “performance reasons,” according to the complaint.
Having worked as a second assistant director, stage manage or first assistant director in the television industry for over 30 years, Klausen’s credits include “According to Jim,” “What I Like About You,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Working.”
Klausen is represented Michael J. Bononi and Jarryd Cooper of Bononi Law Group of Los Angeles. Warner Bros. declined TheWrap’s request for comment.