Six Skin-Crawling Passages from Sandra Guzman's Complaint Against the New York Post
BOO. Happy Halloween! In honor of today's holiday, we figured we'd share some creepy crawlies of our own, culled from the pages of Sandra Guzman's civil complaint against the New York Post and its editor, Col Allan. Guzman is suing over alleged employment discrimination on the basis of her race, national origin, and sex. The original suit was filed in 2009, after Tempo, the Latino interest section headed by Guzman, folded and she was fired. The suit is back in the news when a court dismissed Guzman's claim against News Corp., the Post's holding company, and ruled that the suit would go to trial.
SandraGuzman.com Sandra Guzman
Guzman, who is Puerto Rican, was not only subjected to racist nicknames, it seems, but also '90s-style race and gender humor at her expense and the expense of other women and people of color at the company. The 41 pages go by quickly; it's a pretty fun hate-read.
1. A seriously unfunny West Side Story joke:
Michael Riedel, the Post's Broadway columnist, regularly greeted Ms. Guzman by singing, "I want to live in America," from West Side Story with a Spanish accent. On one occasion, Anne Aquilina, the Post's administrative editor, asked Ms. Guzman if candles in her office related to "Santeria or Voodoo."
2. An uncomfortable nickname from a superior:
In or around 2007, Mr. Goodstein called Ms. Guzman "Cha Cha No. 1" and referred to Ms. Haiman-Marreo, who marketed Tempo at that time and is a Hispanic woman, as "Cha Cha No. 2."
3. Col Allan sharing, um, war stories with female staff:
On or around April 20, 2007, Ms. Guzman was drinking with three female Post journalists at a bar near the Post's offices, frequented by Post employees. Defendant Allan joined the three women and shared stories about the "voracious sexual appetite" of former-Post columnist Steve Dunleavy, including a story about how Mr. Dunleavy purportedly had sex with a female fan in a closet of the bar where they were.
4. The Post's version of the casting couch:
According to Ms. Guzman, supervisors slept with interns while promising them jobs, and it was widely discussed at the office and in newspapers that Defendant Allan took two Australian political leaders to a strip club called Scores and visited the club frequently himself during the work day.
5. A Post dude-bro trading jobs for tricks from subordinates:
It was widely discussed by members of the Post editorial department that a white, male editor had offered a "permanent reporter job" to a young female copy assistant in exchange for a "blowjob."
Then things get a really weird. On the next page is an excerpt of the account of the internal strife at the Post over Sean Delonas's 2009 cartoon in which a chimpanzee ambiguously portrayed either Congress or President Obama. During the ordeal, Guzman was told by a superior to "stop listening to Al Sharpton."