Thoughts Over The Morning’s Coffee: Remember The Terri Hughes Lawsuit Against Christy Canyon and Playboy?

Show hosts Jessica Bangkok, Debi Diamond and Nicki Hunter were fired by Manwin last week for allowing on-air sex during their broadcasts. And, as we all know, Manwin bought Playboy’s TV and online businesses a couple of years ago. Which makes them the big cheese, and now there’s talk of a possible lawsuit against Manwin because of the firings.

New owners, same nonsense. To get a perspective on Manwin’s purge, you only have to go back to September 18, 2008 when Terri Hughes, a former producer of Night Calls, filed a lawsuit against Christy Canyon and Playboy executive producer Farrell Hirsch for, among other things, sexual harassment.

Hughes claimed that Canyon demanded an on-air “ass-waxing” from her. Something which Canyon always denied.

Hirsch was also quoted at the time as saying that too many men were appearing on the shows at Playboy. And, in honor of Black History Month, Hirsch also said there would be no Negro shows on Playboy.

Which is kind of funny because the appearance of Mr. Marcus on Bangkok’s show is what got her canned, and the other story is that Diamond and Hunter were blowing Lexington Steele on-air which is what earned them the boot.

Look, I’m no Steven St. Croix, but when I have my book ready for publication, maybe I can talk about my six degrees of separation with the Hughes lawsuit.

I was booked to be on Night Calls on July 22, 2008 to talk about the chaos which had developed with the Ron Sullivan We Are The World XXX shoot.

Several hours later, I received an apologetic call from Terri Hughes informing me that my spot had just been cancelled. The reason given was that I had nothing to do with porn. I had nothing to do with porn? Imagine that.

Hughes in her lawsuit had both Hirsch and Canyon named as co-defendants. From what I gathered, Canyon used to call Hirsch “Farrellina” behind his back, but I’m sure that’s water under the damn.

In all, Hughes sued for unspecified damages on grounds of alleged racial and sexual discrimination and harassment.

Hughes also charged intentional infliction of emotional distress. For all the drama and sleaze related on the printed page, the lawsuit could have been written by Jackie Collins.

To boot, Hughes had also filed a complaint against Hirsch and Canyon with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Hughes was first hired by Playboy to be a producer. When Ginger Lynn left the Night Calls show over a contract dispute, Playboy elected to give Kevin Daulton a “Caucasian” the job as producer of the show when producer Marie Lanza transferred to another show called “Afternoon Advice”.

Then, on April 2008, Vanessa Blue, an African American, was transferred from “Private Calls” to Night Calls”. Alana Evans, who wanted the job, apparently made some remark that they were adding “color” to the show.

The lawsuit described the fact that Blue and Canyon- and this is hard to imagine- didn’t get along as co-hosts and that Canyon allegedly created a sexually and racially hostile environment. The lawsuit went on to describe how Canyon supposedly altered Blue’s photo in an unflattering way on the website, www.christycanyonauctions.com

The photo supposedly featured six white hosts of various Playboy radio shows along with Blue. The lawsuit got a bit more descriptive by saying the photo was altered to intentionally deface, demean, humiliate and cause ridicule to Blue.

Hughes was then asked by Playboy to replace Kevin Daulton as the producer of Night Calls. That same day, Hirsch told Hughes that Playboy didn’t want to lose the services of Canyon and that Hughes should show Canyon “special attention”.

Playboy also set a policy that producers would all get their own desks. Despite the policy, Hughes, according to the suit, was forced to share a desk and a phone line with an “Hispanic” employee. The suit also included the fact that no other “Caucasian” employees were required to share desks.

Hughes complained to Hirsch claiming the problem was never rectified. Hughes, after becoming a producer of Night Calls, also requested business cards but Hirsch supposedly told her it would be eight months before cards would be made for her.

A few days later during a live broadcast of Night Calls, Canyon demanded that Hughes enter the studio to wax Canyon’s ass. Canyon supposedly repeated this demand throughout that three hour show, forcing Hughes to repeatedly refuse.

The next day, during a meeting called by Hirsch, Hirsch indicated to Hughes that there was a lawsuit involving Blue and that Blue had made allegations that Canyon’s behavior was creating a hostile work environment.

Hirsch requested Hughes’ thoughts on Canyon’s behavior. Hughes told Hirsch that Canyon’s behavior was sexually harassing, that Canyon had harassed Hughes the previous day and that this behavior was problematic.

The suit said Hughes was of the belief that Playboy was forced to implement a no-penetration policy because of Canyon’s behavior.

But Hughes allegedly witnessed Canyon continue that behavior by exposing her genitals and breasts to guests and co-workers. Canyon also supposedly made requests that guests and co-workers touch her breasts and genitals. And Canyon was also supposed to have masturbated and played with sex toys in front of people.

Two days later, Hughes held a meeting with Canyon and Blue to request that Canyon respect others’ personal boundaries regarding sexual conduct. Hughes stressed that because this was a radio show, actual sexual conduction wasn’t necessary and that the hosts could act or improvise for dramatic effect. Hughes told Canyon that no means no.

Hirsch then complained to Hughes that there wasn’t enough sex in the show, and followed it up with an email taking her to task for booking too many male guests. The email stated that it was becoming a problem.

Several days later, Hughes found it necessary to call another meeting with Canyon and Blue to further discuss Canyon’s behavior and her violation of the personal boundaries code. Hirsch, at the meeting now demanded, that hosts- meaning Blue specifically- were not to vocalize the word “no” to the request for any sexual acts while the show was being broadcast.

When Canyon didn’t show up for broadcasts in protest, Hughes then contacted Sinnamon Love, another black performer, to fill in for Canyon.

Producer Marie Lanza then approached Hughes and accused Blue and Love of soiling and staining three chairs in the Night Calls studio. Lanza said the room smelled awful and that there were brown stains on the chairs. When Hughes went into the studio to investigate she allegedly found a bongwater filled with Marijuana.

But Hughes was of the belief that the bong belonged to Playboy employee Kevin Kline, the host of a morning show that shares the studio with Night Calls. Meanwhile, Hughes emailed Hirsch and requested that she be taken off Night Calls as a producer and be re-assigned to two other shows. Hirsch allegedly told her it was all or nothing, that she accept present conditions or be demoted and have her pay reduced.

Hughes told him she was no longer comfortable with present arrangements but Hirsch remained firm.

Hughes had also seen that Kevin Daulton was granted a transfer with no repercussions, primarily because Daulton’s girlfriend didn’t like the fact that he was working with porn chicks.

Hirsch then demanded that Hughes fire Vanessa Blue. Hughes refused because Blue was under contract with Playboy and explained that fact to Hirsch and that the contract had been forwarded to Playboy’s legal dept.

Nonetheless, Hirsch removed Blue from Night Calls. Hirsch gave Hughes a list of potential replacements for Blue. Everyone on that list was “Caucasian”.

Hirsch told Hughes that Blue could be getting her own show and that Blue had requested her as the producer. In discussing the new format, Hirsch allegedly said, “I don’t know to say this, and it might offend you, but I’m just going to say it anyway- no Negro shows.”

Playboy then sent Hughes a memorandum offering to transfer her from Night calls if she’d agree to be demoted to a lower position for less pay. The memo- included in the lawsuit- further admitted that Hirsch used the term “Negro” to describe a show that was inappropriate.

The suit contended that, at all times, Hughes was an exemplary employee, outstanding, dedicated and loyal. The suit contended that Hughes was subjected to intolerable work conditions and suffered severe emotional and physical distress from continuous harassment, retaliation and discrimination by Hirsch and Canyon.

There were other things about derogatory comments and slurs and attempts to force Hughes to resign.

As all Jackie Collins novels and episodes of Peyton Place come to an end, this lawsuit was settled. Other than that, no details were given accept to say it was to the mutual satisfaction of all.

So, as you can see, Mr. Marcus and syphilis have nothing on this lawsuit.

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