CBS Los Angeles, May 2, 2016
A discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman against the Getty Foundation alleges she was denied an undergraduate internship with the institution because she is white.
In the lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Samantha Niemann accused Getty of violating her civil rights, racial discrimination and harassment as well as retaliation. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
According to the suit, Niemann “was deterred from applying” for the foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program in Feb. 2015 after being told only black, Asian, Latino, Native-American and Pacific Islander candidates were eligible.
Niemann–who is of German, Irish and Italian descent–was told by a Getty Foundation representative that she was disqualified from applying because of her race and national origin, the suit states.
According to the Getty Foundation’s website, the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program is aimed at encouraging “greater diversity in the professions related to museums and the visual arts.”