Former Home & Family co-host Mark Steines, who was fired from the Hallmark Channel lifestyle series in May, is suing the network for retaliation and wrongful termination.
In a series of legal documents obtained by our sister site Variety, Steines’ lawsuit details a pattern of abusive behavior carried out by Home & Family executive producer Woody Fraser. According to the documents, Fraser was verbally abusive and sexually inappropriate on the set of the series, particularly when it came to female staffers and guests on the show.
“On multiple occasions, Mr. Fraser would make sexually lewd comments about attractive female guests while speaking to Mr. Steines through his earpiece during the filming of the show,” the lawsuit reads. “Mr. Steines was appalled at Mr. Fraser’s lewd, sexist and misogynistic behavior.”
Several female staffers allegedly came to Steines with their complaints about Fraser’s actions, and the lawsuit claims that Hallmark Channel terminated Steines’ contract with the network — three months before its expiration — upon learning that he was helping defend Fraser’s accusers.
Steines’ exit from Home & Family was addressed on the June 1 episode, in which co-host Debbie Matenopoulos tearfully thanked him for “six of the most incredible years that he has had here, hosting this incredible show that he helped build.”
An explanation for Steines’ departure was not given on the broadcast, but his representatives said in a statement that “Hallmark gave us some vague reasons… We have received nothing but positive reviews of him as the host of Home & Family.”
Cameron Mathison has since replaced Steines as Matenopoulos’ full-time co-host.
Source: Read Full Article