NFL Films is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former employee who did voiceover work for 20 years with the company.
Nadia Axakowsky filed a civil complaint against NFL Films in federal court this past week, alleging that she was subject to frequent unwelcome sexual conduct, groping and remarks in the workplace. The suit also says that a supervising producer (not named in the suit) also asked her out on dates and was told she would lose her job when she refused, according to NJ.com.
Another producer, this one named in the suit, allegedly would “regularly tell her how pretty she was” and wanted to “smother her with millions of kisses.” Axakowsky also says the producer often wanted her to personally thank him for salary increases and other advancements with the company. Visits to his offices frequently resulted in unwelcome advances and groping. The producer is no longer with NFL Films.
NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy says Axakowsky’s suit “has no merit” and the league, which owns NFL Films, “will vigorously defend these claims in court.”
According to the lawsuit, Axakowsky is seeking damages for the injuries she suffered “as a result of being discriminated against, sexually harassed, retaliated against by her employer solely due to her sex and for complaining of the ongoing harassment.” She was terminated by NFL Films in 2016.
On her website, Axakowsky touts herself as “the first female football narrator of the NFL” and has several audio samples of her work, which include bumpers (or “billboards”) for commercial breaks on NFL Network programming. She also has acting credits for commercials, movies, and TV on her résumé.