UPDATED with LX TV statement: Cat Greenleaf, the creator and host of talk show Talk Stoop, has filed a lawsuit against NBCUniversal, the show’s production company LX.TV and her NBCU supervisor, saying she was fired because of her clinical depression.
The discrimination and breach-of-contract suit was filed today in New York Supreme Court “to hold Defendants accountable for their discriminatory conduct, and to be a voice for the millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness but for any number of reasons may not have the ability to stand up for their rights.” It names NBCUniversal Media LLC, its wholly-owned LX Networks LLC which produces the show, and Greenleaf’s direct supervisor Meredith McGinn.
A spokesperson for LX TV Productions issued a statement tonight, saying: “Cat’s employment was terminated for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons. The lawsuit is without merit.”
NBC announced Friday that the new season of Talk Stoop would be hosted by Nessa Diab, not mentioning Greenleaf in a press release on the matter. The suit says McGinn, the SVP of LX.TV Productions, fired Greenleaf in December over the phone citing the breaching of her Employment Agreement based on ” ‘the intimidation of co-workers,’ ‘not effectively communicating,’ and ‘insubordination.’ ” Later, in a letter, the company cited her “repeated material breach of (i) the performance requirements set forth in [the Employment Agreement] . . . and (ii) your exclusivity obligations.”
The suit (read it here) claims “the purported breaches are pretext for discrimination due to her mental illness.”
Greenleaf was diagnosed with clinical depression at age 11, according to the filing, a condition that her employers, including McGinn were aware of. In November 2017, “Ms. Greenleaf relapsed into a severe depression after the death of a close friend, as she revealed to her boss at the time,” the suit says. It added: “Rather than help Ms. Greenleaf confront these issues, however, just days after receiving her e-mail, without any warning, Defendants fired her.”
Greenleaf created Talk Soup in 2009 featuring celebrity interviews conducted from her Brooklyn townhouse stoop. The 30-minute program airs on NBC owned stations, digital, and out-of-home platforms including taxi cabs. In 2013, USA Network acquired Talk Stoop to air in pods on its daytime block.