Robert De Niro On Trial For Gender Discrimination

By April Ryder | Published

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Robert De Niro and his loan-out company, Canal Productions are deep in the midst of a $12 million gender discrimination lawsuit. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the trial officially kicked off this Monday and is expected to wrap up on November 10. 

Underpaid Based On Gender?

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Canal Productions’ former Vice President of Production and Finance, Graham Chase Robinson, has filed a discrimination case against Robert De Niro, claiming that the actor underpaid her based on gender, made “vulgar, inappropriate, and gendered comments” towards her, and left a voicemail colored with an array of expletives on her phone after Robinson failed to answer his call. 

Gendered Tasks While On The Job?

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Robinson also claims that Robert De Niro expected her to perform gendered tasks while on the job, such as sewing clothes and cleaning the laundry, even after she was promoted (from assistant) to an executive position with the company. 

The official complaint against Robert De Niro and his company mentions that De Niro is a man who clings to “old mores”. It goes on to allege that the actor does not operate on the assumption that men and women should be treated as equals, and that De Niro simply does not care that this attitude in the workplace is actually a violation of the law. 

Girlfriend At Odds?

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Once the matter was more thoroughly investigated, it came out that a lot of the friction in the situation was inflamed by the fact that Robert De Niro’s girlfriend didn’t get along with Ms. Robinson. Ms Robinson claims that she was pushed out of her position by the woman’s jealousy. 

Graham Chase Robinson originally filed the gender discrimination lawsuit against De Niro and his company in July 2021, after Canal Productions had filed a $6 million lawsuit of its own against Ms. Robinson for misappropriation of company funds. 

Credit Card Abuse?

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Robert De Niro’s legal position was that Robinson had abused company credit cards, using them for personal expenses and that she allegedly “binged” countless hours of television shows while on the clock. 

However, Robinson’s legal team claims that Robert De Niro only took legal action against Robinson after she had resigned from her position with the company and her counsel had informed De Niro of her upcoming legal filings. 

In the opening arguments on Monday, Robinson’s defense counsel claimed that she was a loyal employee. They took the time to point out a few emails sent from Chen (Robert’s girlfriend) to De Niro. 

Continued Conflict

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One email, in particular, showed that Chen had told the actor that Robinson needed to be “put in her f***ing place” in regard to a conflict the two women had over painting De Niro’s townhouse. Evidently, the two argued heavily over the removal of several pieces of art from the walls prior to the painting. 

When it was time for Robert De Niro’s legal team to drop their opening statements, the team minimized Chen’s involvement in the situation and focused more on De Niro’s claims of misappropriation of funds.

They claimed that Robinson had spent an “extraordinary” amount of money on personal expenses and had five million SkyMiles transferred to her account before leaving the company. 

Robert De Niro On The Stand

Robert De Niro was first on the stand when court began, and the actor had little to say when questioned about the true nature of Robinson’s job description. He claimed that the job “is what it is” and that the titles were not important. 

When questioned about Robinson and Chen’s disagreement about painting the townhouse, Robert De Niro stated that “Robinson was disrespectful to her period”. He went on to state that he had hoped everyone (the two women) would “be happy and play nice” and “that didn’t happen”.