If anything, they should be rewarded

I’m not a particularly ardent fan of the U.K. version of The Office, but I’ve seen a few bits of it here and there, and they can be pretty funny. One of the classic exchanges is between David and Gareth, on the subject of, well, boobs:

[David is mocking a porn site, and reads off of the computer screen]

David: ” ‘Dutch girls must be punished for having big boobs.’ Now you do not punish someone, Dutch or otherwise, for having big boobs.”

Gareth: “If anything they should be rewarded.”

David: “They should be equal.”

Gareth: “Women are equal.”

David: “I’ve always said that.”

With that background, one can fully appreciate this recent news story: “A dancer has launched a $100 million lawsuit against the American musical Movin’ Out, claiming she was emotionally abused and lost her job because her breasts grew too large for her costume.” Yes, it turns out that, according to the lawsuit, some people are punished for having big boobs. Best of all, however, is her lawyer’s statement to the press, in the same newsclip: “In the ballet world, obviously, people are small-breasted. On Broadway, what happened should be an attribute.”

Or in other words, “if anything, they should be rewarded.”

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3 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    Not to belabor this post, but how did her breasts grow? Was she 15? Was she pregnant? Did she order that cream from late-night television? To me, that is the newsworthy part of the story.

  2. Scott Moss says:

    I practiced plaintiff-side employment discrim law for a number of years. I cannot believe that her lawyer gave such a dumb quote: (1) conceding and stressing that there are jobs for which breast size is “obviously” (obviously?!?!) relevant; and (2) making a joke in questionable taste about large breasts being a positive for a Broadway gig.

    He’s basically conceding that breast size is often a relevant job qualification: larger breasts are good for job ABC, but smaller ones are better for XYZ. That’s a ba-a-a-ad way to start pressing your claim that rejecting your client based on breast size is unfair and discriminatory.

  3. Scott Moss says:

    Oh, I just looked: her lawyer is Larry Klayman, the… well, let’s just say “eccentric” lawyer who spent most of the 90s suing the Clinton administration (mostly in non-substantive FOIA requests aimed at proving this or that conspiracy) and then ran a futile senate race in Florida in 2004.

    Employment discrim really is one of those areas where you are extraordinarily likely to lose on summary judgment if you don’t take the right discovery and brief the case just right. If I were this actress… well, let’s just say I wouldn’t start spending my $100m yet.

    And oh yeah, it’s basically legally impossible to sue for $100m for employment discrim. Economic and emotional distress damages don’t ever get into that ballpark, and under the Sup. Ct.’s recent punitive damages precedents, you pretty much can’t get $99.5 million in punis if your actual (economic+emotional) damages are at most a few hundred thou.