by Steven Ertelt
December 26, 2007
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — Jon Peters, the producer of the 2006 movie "Superman Returns," is the subject of an employment discrimination lawsuit two former employees have filed against him. One of the women in question says Peters fired her because she was pregnant and refused his suggestion to have an abortion in order to keep her job.
Blanca Hernandez and Adriana Silveira filed the lawsuits on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court and both are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
According to a KNBC-TV news report, Silveira says Peters hired her and her husband to take care of his home and office in Malibu, California and began working for him in December 2005.
Silveira learned in June 2006, the same month the film premiered, that she was pregnant. She says in her lawsuit that Peters fired her a week later after she refused to have an abortion.
The suit also indicates that Peters tried to persuade Andrew Silveira to convince his wife to have the abortion so the couple could keep the job. He refused to cave in to the pressure and KNBC reports that the lawsuit says Peters fired the him in an email.
The lawsuit also alleges that Blanca Silveira found out from her doctor that she needed a week of bed rest because of a cornea pregnancy and a large cyst and that Peters fired her instead of agreeing to the time off. Silveira was told to rest as more medical test results were accumulated.
This isn’t the first time a prominent Hollywood figure has ben accused of pregnancy discrimination.
In January 2006, former "General Hospital" star Kari Wuhrer sued ABC and ABC Productions alleging the media outlet killed off her character and dismissed her from the program because she got pregnant.
Actress Hunter Tylo, who has gone on to be a spokeswoman for pro-life causes, filed a similar lawsuit in 1997.
Documents Wuhrer’s attorneys filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court said ABC producers told her after she started on the show in January 2005 that writers refused to accommodate her pregnancy in the script as most production companies do when cast members become pregnant.
Wehrer sued for $3 million in damages including damages to her career and earnings as well as emotional distress.
According to a New York Times article, Wuhrer also alleges that ABC soap opera producers have an anti-pregnancy bias in general and encourage actresses to have abortions rather than have their babies.
"Even one whiff that an actress on an ABC daytime soap has conceived a child is enough to have her character killed off the show," the complaint says.