Actress Briana Thomas says that Morina humiliated her in front of the cast and fired her after she declined his invitation for “private acting lessons.”
Actress Briana Thomas has filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures and CBS Studios, claiming the companies which produced the long-running soap opera “The Young and the Restless” did not do anything to prevent harassment by executive producer Anthony Morina.
Fox News reports that Thomas was cast in a background role as a barista between 2018 and 2019.
According to Thomas’s lawsuit, Morina continuously tried to solicit her. Morina allegedly approached her on numerous occasions, commenting on her figure, making repeated advances, and offering “private acting lessons.”
When Thomas turned town the executive producer’s offer of acting lessons, the lawsuit says, he immediately retaliated by firing her.
In her complaint, Thomas says that Morina would often “leer” at her. Between complimenting her looks, Morina suggested that she could “really be something” on the show. On one occasion, Morina purportedly asked Thomas to remove a sarong on-set so that he could see her in a bikini.
“It’s a tough industry to break into, unless you know someone who can help you,” Morina allegedly said while touching Thomas’s waist and manipulating her bikini strings. “Let’s start with a private session and see if we can get you a little more comfortable.”
Now, Thomas is demanding an array of damages, including recompense for “unpaid wages, premium pay and statutory penalties.”
Fox notes that Thomas’s lawsuit is specific in its retelling of how the woman’s time on “The Young and the Restless” came to an end.
“After spurning his advances for months, Morina began to retaliate against Plaintiff and at one point blew up at her in front of other staff and coworkers,” the lawsuit says. “Morina began yelling at Plaintiff and saying she was ‘just an extra’ and there was ‘not going to be a part for [her]’ while cursing and verbally abusing Plaintiff and humiliating her in front of other staff.”
“Morina,” the suit continues, “also told Plaintiff that he alone decided whether Plaintiff’s presence on [The Young and the Restless] continued.”
“Morina then told Plaintiff ‘l’m the reason why you have a job. l am doing you a favor. I like you. Do you understand what I am saying?'” the complaint adds. “Morina was again propositioning Plaintiff during his tirade.”
“After Plaintiff refused his advances again, Morina’s voice got even louder as he spewed more profanities and insults. Plaintiff was shocked, embarrassed, and distraught after the onslaught from Morin,” it reads. “After Plaintiff left work that day, she received an email stating that her employment was terminated and that she was no longer needed on the show.”
The lawsuit observes that, prior to Morina’s outburst, Thomas had appeared on “The Young and the Restless” more than 150 times between February 2018 and January 2019.