Wait, It’s Not Harassment! I’m A Writer!

Comedy is a dirty business, and for comedy writers working on a sitcom, ordinary workplace rules simply don’t apply. Or do they? A lawsuit filed by a former assistant on the TV show Friends “contends that while doing her job, which was to record anything any of the writers said, [the assistant] was subjected to her bosses’ dirty, personal and just plain weird banter, so much so that it constituted sexual harassment.” The defense being mounted is a novel one, and it could have far-reaching ramifications for the joke-writing business: the studio insists that comedy writers can’t possibly do their jobs without such inappropriate chatter.