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Film Director's Discrimination Suit to Continue

December 02, 1999|From Bloomberg News

A black film director's race-discrimination lawsuit against the major film studios and television networks will continue after an appellate court reversed a district court's decision to dismiss the case.

Jamaa Fanaka sued the film and TV companies after they decided not to hire him as a director. A separate district court decision to dismiss a similar suit brought by Fanaka against the Directors Guild of America was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Fanaka, who directed "Penitentiary" and "Street Wars," has claimed that the studios' and networks' hiring practices violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. His suits had been dismissed by the district court, but Fanaka argued in September to reinstate his suit.

The lawyer representing the media companies couldn't be reached for comment.

The companies sued by Fanaka include Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co.'s Walt Disney Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, Seagram Co.'s Universal Studios, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment, Dreamworks SKG and the CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox television networks.

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