CBSN

Dick Clark Named In Age Bias Suit

Dick Clark headshot, tv show host, 2003/5/12
AP
A 76-year-old game show producer sued Dick Clark Monday, alleging the 74-year-old Clark called him a "dinosaur" and refused to hire him because of his age.

Ralph Andrews, who produced the 1960s and '70s game shows "It Takes Two," "By the Numbers" and "You Don't Say," filed the suit in Superior Court.

Andrews' attorney, Phillip R. Maltin, said Clark's actions violate the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which makes it illegal for an employer "to discriminate against a person who applies for a position based upon that person's age."

The suit also names Dick Clark Productions and one of its owners, Mosaic Media Group, and seeks general and punitive damages.

In addition to hosting "American Bandstand" for more than 30 years, Clark has hosted and produced many game shows (including "$25,000 Pyramid"), awards shows (most recently the "61st Annual Golden Globe Awards") and other television programs, including an annual New Year's Eve countdown from Times Square.

Paul Shefrin, a spokesman for Dick Clark Productions, said the company does not comment on pending litigation. A message left after business hours for Mosaic Media Group, which acquired Dick Clark Productions several years ago, while retaining Clark, was not immediately returned.

In the complaint, Andrews says he spoke off and on for more than a year with Clark and other executives about joining the company and was told he would be considered for any openings.

But when he wrote Clark to say he was interested in available positions, Clark wrote back, allegedly turning Andrews down because of his age.

"I have great respect and admiration for your accomplishments, and wish you success in your desire to 'get back to work,'" Clark's letter read, according to the suit.

"(But) the last development guy we hired was 27 years old. Another person who is joining our staff next week is 30. People our age are considered dinosaurs! The business is being run by 'The Next Generation.'"

Clark added, "On a brighter note, Ralph, please know that if any project comes up where we could use your experienced hands, I wouldn't hesitate to call you."

Andrews told The Associated Press he has known Clark for 40 years and hired him on several game shows, including a brief 1997 revival of "It Takes Two."