Sitcom producers all over town will be relieved to discover that the California Supreme Court upheld the no-dead-baby-rape-joke-too-foul sanctity of the writers' room today, ruling that the Friends staff was merely performing their duties when they speculated about the contents of Courteney Cox's uterus, discussed their personal views on the necessity of foreplay, or pitched out unorthodox ideas for Joey's day job:
The justices, ruling 7-0, agreed with Warner Bros. Television Productions that trash talk was part of the creative process and, therefore, the studio and its writers could not be sued for raunchy writers' meetings.
The court added that no jury would believe the writers' assistant was the target of harassment during profanity-laced meetings.
"The record discloses that most of the sexually coarse and vulgar language at issue did not involve and was not aimed at plaintiff or other women in the workplace," Justice Marvin Baxter wrote. [...]
Amaani Lyle, 32, alleged six years ago that raw sexual remarks peppering work sessions and conversations added up to harassment against women.
Lyle said she was offended by repeated references to the actors' sex lives and to the writers' own sexual exploits as they penned the successful NBC sitcom rife with bawdy banter about six New York City friends.
She was fired after four months on the job, allegedly because she could not transcribe meetings fast enough or capture the flavor of the meetings.
Perhaps the most important legal precedent set by this decision is the affirmation of a sitcom staff's ability to fire assistants over their inadequate typing/transcribing skills, the standard industry excuse used by confrontation-averse writers to terminate someone they don't like.