John ‘JC’ Caldwell reportedly suing ARN, claims he was “discriminated for being gay”
Recently dismissed ARN radio host John ‘JC’ Caldwell is reportedly suing his former employer.
As the SMH reports, Caldwell has accused ARN management of “bullying, permitting an homophobic culture”.
Caldwell, who also named The Kyle and Jackie O Show in the lawsuit, says he was “discriminated for being gay” during his time at the network.
He most recently hosted the Celeb HQ show on KIIS FM Nights, before he was dismissed at the start of November.
Harmers Workplace Lawyers are reportedly working with Caldwell for his case.
In 2010 Harmers was in the employ of Kristy Fraser-Kirk who levelled a $37 million punitive damages claim against Mark McInnes.
While the claim was ultimately aborted, McInnes ended up resigning as a result of the case.
In a statement, Caldwell claims he “repeatedly complained about these issues to his managers, saying he would need to leave if they were not addressed.”
Caldwell accuses an unnamed “senior executive” who regularly told him words to the effect of “We just don’t upset the KJ machine.
“If you’ve got a problem, we can find a workaround, but we never upset the KJ machine.”
He also says he “endured years of bullying at ARN, bullying that had caused him to feel suicidal at times.”
“After Mr Caldwell escalated the seriousness of his complaints, he was sacked by ARN in October after an alleged complaint from another KIIS FM employee,” explained the statement.
“He was not told any details of the complaint and was at no stage interviewed or asked for his side of the story.”
The statement also reveals that there was an incident between Caldwell and another KIIS FM employee at the recent 2018 ACRAs, which he believes was the reason for his axing.
“Mr Caldwell now believes that an incident at the recent October Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) between himself and a fellow KIIS FM employee was the cause of his dismissal.
“Later the same evening, the aggressive verbal attack was continued by the fellow employee. Prior to his sacking, and shortly after the ACRAs, Mr Caldwell made a complaint about the homophobic verbal attack he had been subjected to.
“In that incident, John was subject to an aggressive verbal homophobic attack by the fellow employee.”
That verbal attack is said to have included words along the lines of “you’re a homo”, “poofter”, “fucking faggot” and “I’m not a fucking faggot”.
A spokesperson for ARN tells Radio Today that ARN are not aware of any such claims.
“ARN are not aware of any proceedings commenced against KIIS FM or ARN by John Caldwell, and will rigorously defend any claims if they commence,” said the spokesperson.
“John Caldwell’s contract was ended in October. Due to privacy reasons, we don’t comment on individual contracts however John was given the reasons for his contract ending.
“ARN prides itself on its passionate work in the area of diversity and inclusion, particularly with LGBTQI initiatives and the broader community.”