A former NBC studio technician has filed a lawsuit against the network, claiming that co-workers hatefully insulted his Native American heritage by displaying a stereotypical Indian doll on a noose and calling it his daughter. As you can see from this photo, the doll was wearing a sign identifying it as "Baby Wells," and the ex-employee, Faruq "Peter" Wells, says a co-worker threw the doll at him, saying, "Here's your long-lost daughter!"
Wells says the trouble started in June 2009 when he returned to work after a trip to Arizona and colleague Rich Citelli told him to check out the desk of co-worker Evelyn Cordero, where the doll was displayed. "Hey, Pete, do you have any illegitimate children?" Cordero then asked, according to court papers obtained by the NY Post. Taking the "joke" even further, Cordero allegedly said, "Look, it's got your DNA, skin color and you both have the same hair. It's braided just like yours." Ah, Teamster humor.
According to Wells, the best thing a supervisor could think to say after he complained was, "I told her not to put it up." He was also disappointed by the response from Human Resources, which conducted an investigation but didn't find any wrongdoing—and allegedly instructed Wells not to talk about what happened. It gets worse: When he went to his union rep, Wells claims he was told about other racist incidents at the network, including nooses found hanging in the former Conan O'Brien studio. But to be fair, Wells's lawyer tells the Post, "They are very creative racists."