Former Account Executive Sues ESPN Over Firing

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An ESPN account executive is suing the company, alleging he was demoted and ultimately fired in 2020 for complaining about the discriminatory and harassing actions of a general sales manager.

Lee Weissmann's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges retaliation, harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Wednesday.

An ESPN representative could not be immediately reached.

Weissmann was hired in May 2015 as a digital sales manager, the suit states. He filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when he became concerned that general sales manager Matt Mallon's conduct in considering candidates for an account executive opening was discriminatory, favoring Mallon's prior acquaintances and excluding a qualified Black candidate, the suit alleges.

Weissmann complained to his boss, Scott McCarthy, who subsequently gave the plaintiff his first-ever poor performance review, according to the suit. Weissmann also was demoted even though he had increased revenue at the network, the suit states.

Weissmann subsequently filed a complaint with ESPN's human resources department, but that prompted McCarthy to reassign an account long held by the plaintiff to another account executive, the suit states. Weissmann was fired in March 2020 after complaining about the account reassignment, the suit alleges.

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