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Disney Sued for Harassment by ‘Muppets’ Editor

Assistant film editor alleges editor asked her invasive questions

A first assistant film editor on “The Muppets” has filed a wrongful termination suit against Disney, alleging discrimination and harassment against the Mouse House and editor James Thomas.

The suit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Cecilia Hyoun “was subjected to differential treatment because of her gender, family responsibilities, her race and age.” Court docs describe Hyoun as “an Asian woman over age 40.”

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Hyoun is asking for unspecified damages to be determined by the court. According to legal docs, Hyoun received a right-to-sue letter after lodging a formal complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Hyoun began work on the “Muppets” in 2010, according to Monday’s filing, and expected to stay on the film through its completion in late 2011 (Hyoun asserts that she turned down a job offer at Paramount because she was assured of her employment by Disney). But Hyoun says she was fired in June of that year after Disney, through Thomas, repeatedly “grilled” her about choosing between work and family responsibilities. Hyoun also claims that Thomas asked her invasive personal questions that made her uncomfortable — questions she says he did not ask of male employees. In addition, Hyoun alleges that Thomas referred to another female employee in derogatory terms.

Disney was not immediately available for comment.

Hyoun, who is repped by Carol Gillam of L.A.-based Gillam Law Firm, has worked on numerous other films including “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “Semi-Pro” and “Vanilla Sky.”

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