A news producer is suing NBC claiming her bosses on the show Dateline used her to lure men for hidden-camera segments about prostitution and other topics.
Kimberly Lengle, 33, worked as a freelance producer for the "Wild Wild Web" feature that was part of the long-running NBC series "Dateline." According to the lawsuit, Dan Slepian, Lengle'ssupervisor during production, pressured her to send provocative photos to men on the Internet the show was planning to feature for hidden-camera segments. Via The New York Post:
"NBC filmed Lengle for dozens of scenes using hidden cameras. Some scenes involved her saying and doing things that made her feel uncomfortable and vulnerable because of her sex," her Manhattan civil suit claims.
Slepian criticized Lengle for not dressing provocatively enough and even asked why she didn't have any nude photos of herself to send to men looking for "personal assistants" — who were really after sexual playthings, according to court papers. "As part of the story development process, the producers required her to engage in sexual role play and serve as bait for the targets," the filing says.
According to the lawsuit, Lengle took her concerns to NBC's Standards Department, where she was assured she wouldn't have to do anything that made her uncomfortable. However, things only got worse for her:
But Slepian threatened her job when she didn't step up for the seamy work — including posting her photo in response to a Craigslist ad by a sexual deviant looking for a "human punching bag."
Lengle told Slepian she was worried sending her photo to the person behind the Craigslist ad was dangerous and could result in having her image uploaded to other websites or worse. (Also, it would seem like this would be a perfect weapon for an angry man who just got "caught on camera" to seek revenge on the people behind the news story.)
According to her lawsuit, news producers were also given assignments based on their gender. Via The Post:
Lengle says in her suit that male producers were never required to do stories based on sex, instead they were assigned pieces about automobile fraud and sick pets.Non-sexual stories Lengle pitched were turned down or given to male staffers, according to court papers.
Lengle finally quit last April, out of frustration over a lack of action on NBC's part. A spokesperson for NBC News said the company examined her claims and determined they were "without merit."
Image via NBC Dateline Facebook.