After almost two decades of hard work, Randall Arney was recently asked to step down from his position as artistic director at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Arney has contributed much to the old theater and his name is engraved in the hearts of a grateful audience that enjoyed productions directed by him throughout the years.
It is heartbreaking that things have to end this way. Although the theater’s plans for the future go in line with their mission to welcome and embrace young talent, it is wrong and illegal letting go of someone who has poured out his talent and many years of his life into Geffen Playhouse.
The theater has won numerous awards in recent years under Arney’s creative leadership yet he was denied a formal performance evaluation. His lawsuit claims discrimination and retaliation and requests a jury trial. It’s a good thing that there are still great Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys fighting these complex legal battles. Randall Arney and anybody else out there facing age discrimination should claim their rights and the dignity every human being deserves.
The terms of Arney’s employment were altered right after he turned 55 in 2012. Back in February 2017, his contract was not renewed basically due to a medical condition he had disclosed months earlier, which constitutes age and disability discrimination. A chairwoman claims he had agreed to leave in order to allow the theater to prepare for the future. However, these statements deviate from the truth as there is no evidence those conversations ever occurred. Board of directors co-chairs had actually informed him that his contract would not be renewed, which left him dumbfounded and heartbroken.
The theater is being sued for age discrimination since someone 20 years younger replaced the 61-year-old creative mind. Apparently, he was fired and didn’t step down like Geffen claims. After being informed by two women in the board of directors that his contract would not be renewed, a letter was also sent out falsely stating that Arney didn’t wish to renew his contract with Geffen Playhouse. These were all lies used to manipulate the situation and to get the brilliant director fired.
Randall Arney disclosed in his lawsuit that he had Bell’s palsy. This is a condition where patients may experience facial weakness and the muscles on one side of the face may also become paralyzed. The theater hired Matt Shakman as the new director. Shakman has also directed various plays, episodes and television shows such as Game of Thrones.
It is easy to say someone gave up a job they held dear for 17 years and giving the position to someone younger. Thankfully, Arney has the strength to fight the people he thought were his friends and coworkers. Some people suffer in silence while others like Arney claim their rights with a Los Angeles discrimination attorney. Whether you choose to hire an attorney or not, age discrimination is wrong and it should be taken to court. We hope you choose right.