‘Dexter: New Blood’ COVID-19 Safety Worker Sues Paramount

‘Dexter: New Blood’ COVID-19 Safety Worker Sues Paramount

A former COVID-19 compliance supervisor for Dexter: New Blood is suing Paramount Global, alleging she was hindered from doing her job and ultimately fired to keep the production on track.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday in New York federal court, Jennifer Lyon says she was excluded from meetings, provided minimal resources and undermined when she raised COVID compliance concerns in an intentional effort to obstruct her attempts to follow virus protocols. While she was told she had far-reaching authority that extended to halting production, she claims she actually had a toothless position with little power.

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Lyon, who has worked on several big-budget series filmed during the pandemic, according to the complaint, made accusations that the Dexter production and — in her view — others like it subverted COVID protocols: Staff compliance departments with incompetent employees and hamstring qualified workers by diminishing their authority, ultimately using their complaints about being unable to properly do their jobs against them by characterizing them as inept.

The suit is at least the second in as many months from former COVID advisers and supervisors accusing productions of sweeping compliance concerns under the rug to meet deadlines. In September, former HBO health adviser Georgia Hesse sued the company for wrongfully terminating her after she claimed a COVID-19 testing vendor endangered crew members by using the wrong type of test on the production of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. She accused HBO of turning a blind eye to the situation.

Lyon’s claims include age and gender discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment against Paramount and Possible Productions, which hired her as a health supervisor for Dexter: New Blood

Lyon claims unit production manager and producer Adam Brightman cut corners on safety and undercut her attempts to enforce protocols. “Adam felt threatened by Plaintiff who was an older woman who was serious about protection of the crew and had the authority and discretion to enforce safety on set, even if such enforcement had an impact on production,” claims the complaint.

The suit claims that Brightman excluded Lyon from meetings and other communications that “directly impacted her job,” which prevented her from “obtaining all relevant information that could help her keep everyone on set safe.” He allegedly isolated her and signaled to staff that it wasn’t necessary to include her in conversations regarding COVID compliance, telling her not to message department heads without copying him and demanding he proofread her emails. The complaint claims that on two occasions, Adam stated, “I don’t know why COVID has to be here,” referring to Lyon.

Lyon says Brightman eventually hired another person, William Perkins, in the same role as her and claims she was required to run everything past him after she was barred from communicating with Brightman.

“Plaintiff was thereby excluded from participating in major decisions that were directly within her job description,” the complaint reads. “Adam also informed Plaintiff that she was no longer permitted to communicate directly to production and other departments and stated that William would do so.”

Lyon also argues she was consistently denied requests to obtain additional resources and personnel that were necessary to do her job. Once her performance fell off due to the lack of resources, it was ultimately used as a pretext to terminate her, according to the suit. She says she was blamed for “any real or perceived problems in the COVID department,” making her a scapegoat regardless of whether the issue was with being overly stringent or relaxed in regards to protocols.

Paramount and Possible Productions didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.