Universal wins ‘2 Fast’ bias case

Court backs studio in racial discrimination suit

Universal has won a racial discrimination suit filed by the federal government.

In a ruling issued Thursday in Los Angeles by federal court Judge Gary Allen Feess, the court backed up U’s contention that the 2002 firing of first assistant director Frank Davis from “2 Fast 2 Furious” was not racially motivated.

In what was its first racial discrimination suit against a Hollywood studio, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claimed that U had sacked Davis without cause, basing the act on his race and the fact that he was allegedly held to a higher standard than his replacement, who was white.

Davis had filed a discrimination suit against the studio, which was settled last month for an undisclosed sum.

“The evidence convincingly demonstrates that Davis lacked the background and experience” to serve as the first assistant director on the film, “and that his inadequate performance, and not race, motivated Universal Pictures to replace Davis with a different FAD,” the judge wrote in a summary of his ruling.

“Universal chose to try the case because we wanted to give our colleagues, who had been falsely accused of racism, the chance to tell the truth about what happened on this movie,” U prexy Ron Meyer said in a statement.

During the initial trial, “2 Fast 2 Furious” helmer John Singleton stated in court that he did not oppose the firing.

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