Film producer Randall Emmett has tentatively settled a lawsuit brought by a former assistant who had accused him of racial discrimination and creating a hostile workplace that included the use of the N-word.
Martin G’Blae, 29, who worked at the production company Emmett/Furla Oasis for much of 2020, brought a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month. The complaint contained 24 claims of alleged legal violations, including that Emmett had allegedly asked G’Blae to transport cocaine and file an insurance claim for a missing Rolls Royce, which G’Blae had maintained wasn’t actually stolen.
G’Blae had served as a production assistant on Emmett’s action movie “Midnight in the Switchgrass” with Bruce Willis.
G’Blae, who is Black, had alleged that race discrimination was a factor in his termination.
“The parties have discussed their claims and potential claims against each other and as a result of these discussion, Mr. G’Blae’s complaint is being dismissed with prejudice,” G’Blae’s lawyer Young K. Park said Wednesday in a brief statement. Park declined to comment beyond that.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Mr. G’Blae has decided to dismiss his complaint and Mr. Emmett has agreed to not pursue damages for what he strenuously maintains were false allegations made against him,” Suann MacIsaac, Emmett’s attorney at the Kinsella Weitzman law firm, said in a statement. “The matter is now closed.”
G’Blae’s attorneys and those representing Emmett and his business partner, George Furla, worked to quickly resolve the complaint, which asserted that Emmett made racist comments about Black performers, including rappers 50 Cent, Cardi B and Quavo. Both sides appeared motivated to avoid drawn-out litigation or a bruising trial.
Quavo, an Atlanta rapper, co-stars in an Emmett-directed Robert De Niro movie, “Savage Salvation,” that is scheduled for release next month.
Several of G’Blae’s complaints were described in a Los Angeles Times investigation last summer into Emmett’s crumbling empire. The Times detailed allegations of mistreatment of women, assistants and investors who poured millions of dollars into Emmett’s film projects. Several financiers are now suing Emmett and Furla for civil fraud, which both men deny.
The filing comes amid a rising tide of discontent among Hollywood assistants, who have spoken out about low wages and harsh treatment by Hollywood executives.
Emmett has been a fixture in Hollywood for two decades, producing more than 120 movies, including low-budget action films starring Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson. Emmett also has co-produced critically acclaimed movies, including Peter Berg’s “Lone Survivor” and two Martin Scorsese films, “Silence” and the Oscar-nominated “The Irishman” for Netflix.
G’Blae, who was paid $1,500 every two weeks, said in the complaint that he was on call 12 hours a day and on weekends, resulting in pay that amounted to less than California’s minimum wage. In addition, G’Blae was often asked to cover Emmett’s personal expenses, including meals and stays — without full reimbursement.