Melissa Sagemiller had a familiar feeling when she entered the Law & Order: SVU set, the show that gave the actress her first role 11 years earlier.
"I walked into the meeting for this role and Neal [Baer] and Ted [Kotcheff], the executive producers, remembered me. I was touched," Sagemiller says.
The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees has accused Law & Order: SVU executive producer Ted Kotcheff of making racist and sexist remarks at the workplace over the past three years — including referring to Asian-Americans as "Chinamen" and describing women in derogatory terms — and most recently notified NBC that Kotcheff told a crew member whom he dubbed "Stepin Fetchit" to "get your Caribbean ass out of here," Reuters reports. "This kind of racist and sexist behavior is unacceptable," IATSE president Thomas Short says in a statement. "When a network or studio ignores repeated requests to discipline those accused of these actions, the message... is very clear: They don't care." A spokesperson for NBC Universal says the claims are being taken "very seriously," but publicly, they do not comment on such personnel matters.