Anthony Morina has been accused of sexually harassing a former actress on The Young and the Restless, according to a lawsuit filed against CBS Studios and Sony Pictures Television on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Actress Briana Thomas, who appeared as a Crimson Lights barista on Y&R in 2018 and 2019, claims that Morina made repeated advances toward her, made unwanted comments about her appearance, and offered her a "private acting lesson." When Thomas rebuffed his advances, the actress states that she was fired.
Morina was named executive producer of The Young and the Restless in 2019, replacing Mal Young in the position. Prior to 2019, Morina worked in various capacities at Y&R for more than a decade.
According to the complaint, Morina seemingly promised that Thomas could "really be something" on the show but told her "[i]t's a tough industry to break into, unless you know someone who can help you." In an episode where Thomas appeared in a poolside scene, Morina is accused of asking Thomas to remove a coverall so he could see her in a bikini. The suit adds that while touching her waist and playing with the strings of her bikini, Morina offered to give Thomas "a private session [to] see if we can get you a little more comfortable."
The suit, first reported by Variety, also claims that Morina cornered Thomas in a stairwell to again ask if she wanted private lessons. When Thomas was more forceful in rejecting the advance, Morina subsequently yelled at her on set, saying, according to the complaint, that Thomas was "just an extra."
"I'm the reason why you have a job," Morina allegedly said. "I am doing you a favor. I like you. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
The 22-page filing states, "After Plaintiff left work that day, she received an email stating that her employment was terminated and that she was no longer needed on the show."
Morina's behavior reportedly included derogatory remarks about the appearance of an African American actress.
In the wake of CBS' investigation into sexual harassment claims brought against then-CEO Les Moonves, Thomas claims that Morina called the training sessions "bullshit" and that some "bitches" had "their panties in a bunch" and "didn't know how to take a compliment."
Thomas is seeking a variety of damages, "unpaid wages, premium pay and statutory penalties," and fees. She is represented by Carney Shegarian, who also filed the lawsuit that accused newly hired Jeopardy! host Mike Richards of discriminating against a pregnant model during his time as a producer on The Price is Right. Like Y&R, The Price is Right is produced by Sony Television Pictures.
In addition to his work on Y&R, Morina has also worked as a director on General Hospital, Generations, Santa Barbara, and Sunset Beach.
Soap Central has reached out to both Sony TV and CBS for comment, but neither has responded to those requests for comment.
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