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Vulgar, Inc.
Vulgar Ink? Well, it would be a good name, at least sometimes, for my writing process. On a good day, I'm coarse, bawdy, and immature, to say the least.

A typical workplace conversation: I think I was reading something to Gregg over the phone and he misunderstood me. "No, I said golden bowl!" I laughed. I turned to my assistant. "He thought I said golden hole!" Laughter and more vulgarity and immaturity followed...all in a day's work.

In other words, I'm quite relieved at the news that the California Supreme Court threw out the sexual harrassment case of a former assistant on "Friends":

Sometimes vulgarity is not just acceptable but necessary in the workplace, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday as it threw out a sexual harassment case by a former assistant on the "Friends" TV show.

The justices, ruling 7-0, agreed with Warner Bros. Television Productions that trash talk was part of the creative process and, therefore, the studio and its writers could not be sued for raunchy writers' meetings.

No jury would believe the writers' assistant was the target of harassment during profanity-laced script sessions "for an adult-oriented comic show featuring sexual themes," Justice Marvin Baxter wrote.

"Most of the sexually coarse and vulgar language at issue did not involve and was not aimed at plaintiff or other women in the workplace," Baxter wrote.

Amaani Lyle, 32, alleged six years ago that raw sexual remarks peppering work sessions and conversations added up to harassment against women.

Lyle said she was offended by repeated references to the actors' sex lives and to the writers' own sexual exploits as they penned the successful NBC sitcom rife with bawdy banter about six New York City friends.

She was fired after four months on the job, allegedly because she could not transcribe meetings fast enough or capture the flavor of the meetings.

A good part of my job is to sit around making rude jokes. An average day at the office might include thinking up new names for "dick" or different kinds of sex, or maybe just bantering about bestiality. When I hire assistants, I typically point to a couple of porn films I have stacked with the rest of my videos -- a present from my friend Wally. I actually have never gotten around to watching them; not out of prudishness; frankly, I'd rather see 24.

Anyway, what I say to the assistants I'm interviewing is, "I'm a woman who has porn films out in plain sight in her living room. This is a small reflection of the kind of workplace this is. If that bothers you, you'd be working for the wrong woman." So far, nobody's had a problem with any of the workplace banter -- and now, I have to say, I'm pretty relieved the Supreme Court came down on the side of free speech and free fucking expression.

And just an aside, what kind of moron gets a job on a sitcom and is shocked to hear vulgarity? Ummm...well, some people earn a living, other people just sue for theirs.

Posted by aalkon at April 21, 2006 9:11 AM

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