Teen Mom producers are reportedly meeting in New York today to discuss how they will be handling Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Eason in the wake of firing her husband David Eason for making a series of anti-LGBT tweets on Monday. But, it seems those producers will have something else to talk about as former Teen Mom OG star Farrah Abraham has officially filed a lawsuit against MTV, their parent company, and the show’s production companies claiming that she was fired illegally.
The lawsuit (included in its entirety below) was filed on February 2 in Texas and includes no less than 15 charges against Farrah’s employers. Essentially, the lawsuit claims what Farrah has stated many times publicly: that she was harassed, defamed, and fired because of her involvement in the adult industry. As a result, she is asking for “economic compensatory damages, non-economic compensatory damages, and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial but exceeding $5,000,000.”
Here is the Introduction from the filing:
This is an action by Farrah Abraham (“Ms. Abraham”) to hold Defendants responsible for
(1) harassing her because she did not conform to gender stereotypes;
(2) wrongfully terminating her employment because she did not conform to gender stereotypes; and
(3) terminating her employment in retaliation for complaining about the gender-stereotyping harassment she suffered.
This civil action also seeks to hold New Remote Productions, Inc., Viacom Inc., Eleventh Street Productions, Inc., and Anxious Eleven, LLC responsible for breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, negligence, negligent hiring, retention, and/or supervision, tortious interference with business relations, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as Morgan J. Freeman responsible for civil assault, tortious interference with business relations, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Most of the lawsuit stems from the confrontation between Farrah and Teen Mom OG Executive Producer Morgan J. Freeman on October 30, a confrontation captured by MTV cameras and featured in several promotional videos for the current season. In one of those clips, Morgan tells Farrah flatly: “If you choose to work in the adult industry, we can’t continue to film you.”
From the lawsuit:
On or around October 30, 2017, Ms. Abraham was confronted by Morgan J. Freeman (“Freeman”), one of the executive producers for Teen Mom OG and the CEO of Eleventh Street Productions, Inc., at her Texas residence.
Freeman, alongside his production crew, harassed, humiliated, discriminated against, disrespected, ridiculed, degraded, and sex shamed Ms. Abraham for her recent decision to pursue opportunities in the adult entertainment industry.
Also during this confrontation threats were made against Ms. Abraham by Freeman about ending her career with MTV, sabotaging future deals Ms. Abraham had in place with MTV, and defaming her.
Given Freeman’s hostile tone, mannerisms, and body language, Ms. Abraham feared for her life.
Shortly after this confrontation, and as a direct result of Freeman following through on many of the threats he made, NRPI informed Ms. Abraham that her participation for the remainder of the current Teen Mom OG season was no longer needed.
In addition, NRPI informed Ms. Abraham that they were pulling the plug on a lucrative deal that the two had been in negotiations for months.
Notwithstanding NRPI’s decision to cease filming Ms. Abraham, Ms. Abraham has continued to fulfill her contractual obligations in good faith.
Exactly what happened next is still a little murky, with Farrah and her dad Michael Abraham stating previously that Morgan Freeman and the production company(ies) associated with the show told Farrah she was done, but MTV’s parent company Viacom never confirmed a termination of employment. “Farrah was never legally fired,” Michael told Starcasm in an interview back in November, “she was never in breach of her contract, she never cancelled filming. Time will tell.”
If you’ve been keeping up with the recent Teen Mom 2 drama surrounding Jenelle Eason’s husband David Eason, you know that MTV issued an official statement announcing “we are ending our relationship with [David] effective immediately.” There was never any sort of announcement from MTV regarding Farrah’s employment status. Regardless of whether Farrah was ever given official notice of her termination by Viacom, she has reportedly not filmed for Teen Mom OG since October 30, despite her willingness to continue.
So why is Viacom named in the lawsuit? One reason is Farrah’s claim that she informed them of Morgan Freeman’s actions and they neglected to take appropriate action:
Defendants Viacom and NRPI owed Ms. Abraham a duty to exercise ordinary care in hiring, retaining, and supervising employees and/or agents working with Viacom and NRPI.
Defendants breached that duty of care when it directly, and/or through its agents and/or employees, failed to exercise ordinary care in hiring, retaining, and/or supervising its agents and/or employees who discriminated against, and engaged in other tortious conduct toward, Ms. Abraham.
It is still unclear what other project Farrah had lined up with Viacom that was canceled after her confrontation with Morgan Freeman. If the lawsuit moves forward, I’m sure we will find out more about that.
Speaking of the lawsuit moving forward, Farrah’s complaint has the potential of blowing up the fifth wall and revealing all sorts of information previously kept from the public. Number one, I don’t think there will be any way for Farrah to avoid revealing just how much she was being paid to be on Teen Mom OG. Also, I would imagine that her entire MTV contract would need to be included, which will reveal a lot of additional information fans will be curious to know. (How much do the children make? Do cast members get compensated for pregnancies and/or weddings?)
As far as I know, neither of the defendants have filed a response, but that too has the potential for some interesting discovery. In addition to the scene in which Morgan Freeman seems to indicate that Farrah’s future with Teen Mom OG is in jeopardy due to her continued involvement in the adult industry, MTV has aired additional clips in which he expresses concerns over how difficult Farrah is to work with. If Farrah was indeed terminated, then I imagine that Viacom and the other defendants will claim that this was the real reason they decided to end their relationship with Farrah.
Obviously, the defendants will need to defend themselves, and that would almost certainly come (in part) in the form of behind-the-scenes footage of Farrah being “difficult to work with.” I cannot imagine what that would look like with roughly nine years of filming to choose from.
Depending on the accuracy of the reports of how difficult Farrah is to work with, this could really blow up in her face. A sizzle reel of her clashing with producers and crew members could be devastating as far as future work in the entertainment industry — I would assume. And remember, MTV will have a huge production company putting their clips together to tell their side of the story — and even Farrah would have to concede they are pretty great at editing! Also remember that this case looks to headed for a jury trial, so these will be “normal” Texans watching these Teen Mom OG clips and (potentially) Farrah on the witness stand.
Of course, Farrah’s legal team will also have access to the unaired footage to compile evidence to the contrary, and if the reports of Farrah being difficult to work with are overblown, then she shouldn’t have much to worry about.
UPDATE – More from Farrah about the lawsuit:
I’m not going to absorb the debts, damages, & trauma @Viacom @Mtv Dia Savage , Morgan Freeman, Chris McCarthy, Nina Diaz plotted & conspired to discriminate with their sexist attack on me Don’t Hurt Widowed Women & their Children among all the other hate crimes #SHAMEONMTV pic.twitter.com/0goRRRZsjv
— Farrah Abraham (@F1abraham) February 22, 2018
Regardless, if this lawsuit plays out without a gag order of some kind, we will soon be finding out A LOT about what goes on behind-the-scenes with the show.
For those of you wanting more than just a recap and my take on things, here is the full Farrah Abraham MTV lawsuit for your perusal: