Desperate Housewives: Violence In The Workplace, Drama In The Courtroom

Nicollette SheridanToday, Nicollette Sheridan heads to court in a suit against her former employers. The actress claims that Desperate Housewives creator and head writer Marc Cherry struck her in the head and created a hostile work environment. After Sheridan spoke out about her treatment, her character was killed off the show.

The actress is suing for wrongful termination, gender violence, gender discrimination, assault and even a few other things. Her former co-workers will be taking the stand, though it’s unclear exactly what their testimony will entail. It’s obviously going to be quite the production of a court case, as one would expect from people in the showbiz industry.

Even with all the drama surrounding this case, there are a few details to this Hollywood drama that seem to be universally accepted. On Setpember 28, 2008, while filming a scene for their show, Sheridan and Cherry got into an argument. Apparently, Nicollette was looking for a funnier line to close out one of the shows. When she approached her boss, he got agitated. Then, he struck her in the head.

Now, Sheridan said that he hit her. Cherry said that he “tapped” her. And other cast and crew simply say that an altercation happened. The fact is, the boss got mad and he raised his hand to an employee. I don’t know care if she’s a diva-like actress with an attitude, she’s an employee. And she got struck in the head by her boss.

I’m trying to imagine what type of office one would have to work in for physical assault to be acceptable. I mean, what company is okay with a manager striking their employees in any way? Professional wrestlers, I guess it’s part of their job. Football players, unless of course you’re the kicker. Kickers must have had tremendous representation at those union meetings, I’m just saying. Anyone else coming up with a business where your boss can hit you in the head? Oh that’s right, the set of an ABC prime-time sitcom.

Sherican’s former co-workers have been supportive of their boss, although their testimony is sure to be surprising. When asked how she felt about the other Housewives taking the stand for the defense, Sherican said this morning, “Who said they’re testifying against me? In what would be a perfect plot twist, it’s possible that the other actresses were afraid of retribution if they spoke up. Now that the show is ending, they might be more supportive of co-worker’s claim.

The story has plenty of prime-time worthy drama, with Sheridan claiming that Cherry got down on bended knee to apologize. The angry actress took her story to the press. And the vindictive writer killed off Sheridan’s character Edie Britt, even after assuring his star that she would be fine. In all these details is where the court room battle is sure to lie.

However, I find it amazing to look past the fact that a professional and a manager can maintain his job after raising a hand to his employee. Let’s face it, in any other job in the country, Marc Cherry would’ve been fired and ABC would’ve settled this lawsuit by now.

Nicollette Sheridan worked for Desperate Housewives. That set was her office. And just like every employee in the country, she deserves the right to feel safe where she works. Complaining about violence in the workplace doesn’t make her a “diva” or “difficult,” it makes her brave. That behavior shouldn’t be acceptable, and ABC is pretending that it is, than they deserve to pay the legal consequences.

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