Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Disney Executive Alleges Disparate Treatment Because He is Gay

LOS ANGELES (CNS - A Walt Disney Co. executive is suing the company, alleging he has been passed over for promotions and paid less than others with similar jobs because he is gay.

Joel Hopkins alleges sexual orientation discrimination and failure to prevent discrimination. The Santa Clarita resident seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A Disney representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

Hopkins was hired in 1994 as director of production finance for Disney entity Buena Vista Television and received two promotions within his first six years on the job, first to an executive director slot and later to vice president of production finance for a second Disney subsidiary, Touchstone Television, according to his court papers.

Since shortly after that promotion, Hopkins alleges he has experienced an ongoing pattern of discrimination, including being denied promotions and not being paid the same amount as other department heads. Disney chose candidates for the open positions who had less experience than Hopkins and little or no time working for Disney, the suit alleges.

Hopkins also was over-scrutinized and harassed and was falsely blamed for issues that were not his responsibility, according to his court papers which allege that after his sexual orientation became known to his bosses, he was put on a “dead-end career track'' in which no help was offered from human resources.

Photo: Getty Images

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