Mark Steines is fighting back against Hallmark and Crown Media after he was abruptly let go from hosting the channel's flagship show, Home & Family. Steines filed a lawsuit against the media company on Thursday in Los Angeles, according to Deadline, accusing it of wrongful termination.
According to the suit, Steines alleges that Crown Media fired him from hosting in retaliation for standing up for his female colleagues in the summer of 2017 over their claims that then-executive producer Wood Fraser was sexually harassing them. The lawsuit says that Steines repeatedly warned Crown Media and Crown Media Holdings that Fraser was harassing and verbally abusing female producers on staff, but the parent company did nothing about it.
"[Steines] alleges that after he [stood with his co-workers], everything changed, with the network taking away his voice-over work, diminishing his role on the network, reducing his profile at industry events, cutting his salary by 25 percent, and ultimately firing him months before the end of his contract," Steines lawyer Lisa Bloom said on Thursday.
Hallmark released a statement on May 31 revealing that they had "parted ways" with Steines as Home & Family was to evolve in a different creative direction. Steines was unaware on May 30 that it would be his last day of shooting. He'd co-hosted the show since its inception in 2012. He was replaced by former soap star Cameron Mathison for Season 7.
Home and Family airs Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. on Hallmark Channel.