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It was bad enough that 20th Century Fox engaged in humiliating gay-bashing before it fired a successful casting director, but what really rankled California’s Labor Commission was that the studio refused to apologize for its behavior. State Labor Commissioner Arthur Lujan has gone to the Los Angeles Superior Court to try to make 20th Century Fox comply with Lujan’s order that the studio post an apology for its treatment of Randy Stone, the former casting director. Stone, hired in 1993 by Fox chief Peter Roth, went on to cast such series as “The X-Files”, “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice”. In 1994, Stone won an Academy Award for producing the live-action short “Trevor”, and he’s a regular in the Hollywood gossip columns as the best friend of actress Jodie Foster and the reported sperm donor for the baby she gave birth to in 1998. But a suit filed against Fox by the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement over the July 4th weekend paints a dark picture of Stone’s Fox tenure. The suit alleges that when Sandy Grushow took over as Fox’s president in 1997, he “repeatedly humiliated Mr. Stone publicly by making remarks alluding to Mr. Stone’s sexual orientation” as a “gay male” that were “stereotypical and offensive.” The beginning of the end, the suit continues, came in March 1998, when Stone inquired about the studio’s paternity-leave policy. After that, Stone alleged — and a Labor Department investigation confirmed — Grushow cancelled Stone’s annual talent-scouting trip to New York, assigned him to a smaller office and gave the golf cart Stone used to navigate the studio lot to another executive. Fox fired Stone in July 1998 for poor job performance, an explanation the Labor Department labels “merely pretextual” in its latest suit. The department had already concluded Stone had been victimized, prompting Lujan’s order for the studio to cease discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. The order also called for the studio to write a letter of apology to Stone and post it for 30 days on the employee bulletin board. The suit says Fox promised to follow the order, but didn’t, and concludes that the studio won’t comply absent a court injunction. Representing the state is Anne Hipshman of the San Francisco office of the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Fox’s in-house counsel for the case is M. Michelle Alvarez, who was reported to be out of the office Monday and unavailable for comment. Alvarez’ assistant read a statement issued by “a Fox spokesman”: “The lawsuit is completely without merit.”

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