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Ousted CBS Diversity Showcase Director Rick Najera ‘Heartbroken and Confounded’ by Harassment Allegations

Writer and producer Rick Najera is firing back at harassment allegations that led to his firing as director of CBS’ annual diversity showcase.

On Friday, a representative issued a statement from Najera “on behalf of himself, and his devastated wife and family,” saying, “We are heartbroken and confounded by deliberate and cruel defamations. Anyone who has been slammed by libelous deceptions knows exactly how we feel.”

As Variety reported Thursday, Najera was fired from his role heading CBS’ long-runnning talent showcase in response to allegations that he made inappropriate comments to performers. In a statement Thursday, CBS said, ““In March 2017, CBS became aware of inappropriate comments made during the production of the Diversity Comedy Showcase, and remedial action was taken at that time, which the company felt was appropriate to the matter. Subsequent information has recently emerged. After looking into these reports and a discussion with Mr. Najera, he has resigned from his role with the Diversity Comedy Showcase.”

Read Najera’s full statement:

“We are heartbroken and confounded by deliberate and cruel defamations. Anyone who has been slammed by libelous deceptions knows exactly how we feel. As a family, we are hurt and shocked. It’s unbelievable that a diversity program I directed and we supported for more than a decade would be twisted against me.

As we wrestle with our reactions to this attack, I want to remind people that I’ve spent my whole life not only making people laugh – but showcasing our shared humanity. I have spoken publicly of my near-death experience and the pain and discrimination that, unfortunately, is a part of Hollywood. This is now the most painful and unjust situation I – and my family — have ever experienced.

Right now, we want to thank the people who are standing with us and the flood of calls and emails of support from those who know my character and who know the truth. We are strengthened by their friendship and love as we begin to right this wrong.”

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