Criminal Minds is a TV show about FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) that travels to different states of America to uncover and stop serial killers, terrorists and dangerous criminals from attacking again. The show has been very popular and spans over a decade, with the latest season coming out in a couple of weeks. The show and its crew members have been nominated and have won several times at the Emmys and various other shows.
And when the longest running crime drama returns to CBS so will Greg St.Johns – the Director of Photography. Greg has been a part of the show since the show’s inception as a A-camera operator and rose to the ranks ultimately receiving the role of Director of Photography in 2007.
He has continued to remain in this role despite several allegations of abusive and sexually harassing behaviour exhibited by him towards his staff members. An open investigation by the State of California into the claim revealed that he created an abusive environment, where he often groped male staff members and crew members in the genital region on their butt and fired anyone who complained against him.
The show’s producers and crew members received a mail in the start of this year regarding these allegations , the email stated that the inappropriate touching of genitalia, rear ends, verbal abuse, retaliatory firings of entire electrical department employees, camera department employees and the numerous outstanding directors who made it clear that they would never return to the show because of how they were treated by Greg St. Johns.” The senders requested that “the producers interview everyone on the crew, in an anonymous and safe setting, to protect you from being singled out and retaliated against if you decided to share your personal story of how you were mistreated by Greg St. Johns.”.
Many former crew members were to known to tell him that such behaviour wasn’t acceptable as it went beyond industry norms, and many who stayed on weren’t happy about the behaviour but didn’t want to make a change and lose their job over it so they stayed silent and tolerated verbal and physical abuse. ABC Studio’s HR department conducted an investigation into his behaviour at work but has not revealed anything as he has continued to oversee multiple departments.
“I called him out and I was showing that I was uncomfortable with what he was doing”, “once every couple of weeks grabbed my rear-end”said Matulic a former digital imaging technician on the show, when asked why he was let go from the show. “The weird thing was, if Greg was in a good mood, he was doing that sort of thing and you knew it was going to be an easier day,” he added.
Matulic filed a complaint against ABC Studios and Entertainment Partners with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which opened an investigation.
A crew member stated that “He’s a tyrant,” Donnell Turner, a former stand-in on the show, told Variety. “By literal definition, he is a tyrant, and I feel sorry for anyone that works under him.”
While another crew member said “I was abused by St. Johns verbally and physically” ,“The guy’s an ass grabber. He’s a nut grabber. If you dare to question his authority on any particular subject he’ll verbally abuse you right there in front of people.”
A former crew member reported that “I think the people that empower and enable him are culpable,” a former crew member told Variety. “They keep cleaning up his mess.”
Matulic concluded to say that No one wants to stick their neck out.” Below-the-line crew members are, as he points out, effectively contractors, You don’t feel like you’re part of the business. It just feels like we’re contracted workers. We’re just there for the job.”