Judith Sheindlin, better known as television’s Judge Judy, recently ended her famous small-claims courtroom series on daytime TV and launched a new but similar series on an up-and-coming streaming service.
Unfortunately for the star, the launch of her new program has been marred by numerous and years-old allegations of racism and sexism lodged against one of the judge’s top producers, Randy Douthit, as PopCulture.com reported.
The resurfaced allegations against Douthit, which were apparently settled or dismissed in prior lawsuits, include claims that the producer routinely made crude and offensive remarks about co-workers and litigants on the program, creating a hostile and toxic work environment.
Alleged racism and sexism
As part of a broader investigation into Judge Judy herself, Business Insider recently reported on the allegations against her longtime executive producer, some of which emerged in a 2001 lawsuit and others of which came up in a suit in 2009.
The former lawsuit was dismissed. The latter resulted in a settlement with a fired employee.
The 2001 suit contained allegations that Douthit, from his position in the control room, made remarks about the looks of litigants, including making animal noises for those he deemed overweight or ugly and uttering sexual innuendos toward those he found to be attractive.
He was also alleged to have made disparaging remarks about certain Black litigants who appeared on the program. Notably, Douthit denied all of the claims, and the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by a judge.
Still, one former producer who left the show this year, Kurstin Haynes, told Insider that Douthit routinely commented on the looks, including teeth and weight, of litigants, and even issued grades with derisive commentary about some of them. Another former producer said, “He definitely didn’t talk about them like they were people, it was like they were subhuman.”
As for the 2009 lawsuit, filed by a former senior producer who had been fired from the show two years prior, Douthit was alleged to have instructed other employees to no longer bring Black litigants on the show. That lawsuit was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.
Insider noted that six former employees of Judge Judy asserted that Douthit’s alleged aversion to Black litigants remained in place until the show concluded earlier this year, with one telling the outlet, “I guess they felt like Judy’s demographic were middle-aged white people at home and they wanted to continue to skew to that demographic.”
For what it’s worth, Douthit’s attorney told Insider that his client has completely denied ever engaging in “racism or any other abusive conduct towards members of the show’s production or its participants.”
“Mr. Douthit has always fostered a supportive, productive, safe and inclusive work environment for everyone involved in the show,” the attorney said. “It is apparent that Insider is relying largely, if not entirely, upon questionable uncorroborated sources, disgruntled former employees, and unfounded allegations, the vast majority of which date back fifteen to twenty years, to paint a false narrative regarding Mr. Douthit and the show.”