Whether based out of an at-will termination state, such as Minnesota, or a state that has different employment termination requirements, television production companies, and other talent related employers, often have a bit more leeway for creative purposes. That being said, however, if an actor, or any worker is fired out of retaliation or for some other illegal reason, such as discrimination, they may have grounds for legal action.
According to reports, actress Selma Blair is considering filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against Lionsgate Television, a production company, after she claims to have had her contract terminated due to a conflict with her co-star, Charlie Sheen. She claims Sheen forced the company to write her character off “Anger Management”, the FX sitcom in which the two starred. Although Sheen reportedly requested Blair specifically for the role, the relationship soured after Blair criticized Sheen’s lack of preparation for filming.
No details were released regarding how many episodes remained on Blair’s contract at the time of her dismissal, but the actress has reportedly requested to be paid the remainder of her contract. According to reports, she has threatened to take legal action if Lionsgate does not pay her the $1.2 million she claims she is owed. It was not reported whether the studio plans to comply with her demands, or risk litigation.
If you feel you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job, it may be of benefit to speak with an attorney to discuss your situation. A lawyer can explain your options and offer advice, as well as answer any other questions that you may have.
Source: New York Daily News, “Selma Blair may sue ‘Anger Management’ studio over lost pay after Charlie Sheen-engineered firing: report”, Ethan Sacks, Sep. 13, 2013