Former The Doctors co-host Dr. Ian Smith has filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Deadline reports. Smith said that he faced "racial discrimination and retaliation."
Smith stated he was fired from The Doctors in January after he mentioned “racist discriminatory statements about him” by a producer on Zoom. The MD said that he'd faced prejudice almost from the time he became the show's sole host last July, which came in the wake of George Floyd's murder. He also noted that former co-host Dr. Rachael Ross warned him about a “a lack of diversity and racism” on the talk show.
When Smith discussed the lack of diversity amongst producers with EP Patty Ciano, he was allegedly told:
We have you as the host.
Ciano is then said to have noted:
That’s what matters.
One claim, anonymously filed late last year, focused on sexual harassment Smith suffered; now, the claim is "virtually DOA," according to Deadline. Other complaints resulted in “several …calls and emails” with higher-ups, but no clear action was apparently taken. Ciano, ViacomCBS, Stage 29, and Stage 29's co-founder Jack McGraw are named as “aiders and abettors” in the documentation.
Stated Smith’s lawyer Rick Ostrove:
If my client didn’t complain about racism, he would still be the host of The Doctors. His repeated complaints are a show of courage. He stuck his neck out to make the industry more inclusive and make the world a better place. We are exceptionally confident that we will prevail in this case and look forward to trial.