Robert De Niro's Company Sues Ex-Employee For Watching Friends During Work Hours

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Getting fired from a promising job can be one of life's biggest disappointments, especially for those who pride themselves on being key employees. But also for those who mostly used their work hours to catch up on binge-watching TV. Case in point: Robert De Niro's company Canal Productions has filed a $6 million lawsuit against a former employee who binge-watched an absurd amount of streaming TV while on the clock. Oh, and also for embezzling money.

In a lawsuit filed on Saturday in New York's state court, quite a few allegations were made about former Canal employee Chase Robinson, sparking the $6 million suit. Robinson actually left the company back in April, due to suspicions of "corporate sabotage." It possibly speaks to the preliminary research that went into this lawsuit that it's just now arriving four months after Robinson left.

Some Of The Allegations Against Chase Robinson

1. It's claimed that Chase Robinson rarely went into the office during work hours.

2. She was accused, on one occasion, of binge-watching 55 episodes of Friends over a four-day period.

3. Across another four-day period, Chase Robinson reportedly watched 20 episodes of Arrested Development and 10 episodes of the Emmy-nominated Schitt's Creek.

4. Robinson is accused of spending $12,696.65 at Paola's Restaurant in a two-year period. Other unauthorized charges include $8,923.20 at grocery stores Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods. A further $32,000 in Uber and taxi charges were also included.

5. It's alleged that Robinson used millions of Robert De Niro's personal frequent flyer miles while making personal trips.

Chase Robinson was first hired as Robert De Niro's assistant back in 2008, and later moved up the latter to becoming the Vice President or Production and Finance within Canal Productions. Somewhat shockingly, her salary was upwards of $300,000 per year, according to Variety.

It's pretty clear that Chase Robinson didn't see anything wrong with her actions as an employee. When she left the company in April, her resignation letter stated that the worries about her financial spending were "ridiculous," according to Variety. In fact, she went so far as to draft up a recommendation letter for her next job, which Robert De Niro reportedly refused to sign.

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Understandably, the lawsuit states that at no point was Chase Robinson's Friends viewing marathons part of her actual work, and that she was watching that and other shows for her own personal benefits and satisfaction. Which would be fine in most cases, but she was actually on the clock when partaking in all those viewings. Maybe things would have been different if Friends had already been taken off of Netfix by the time Robinson got that job.

If this was the case for just one employee for Robert De Niro's Canal Productions, one can only imagine just how often this behavior might occur within jobs of all shapes and sizes. (As a former hotel night auditor, I can say that Netflix definitely got me through some long evenings.)

It's unclear just how this case will end up going for either Robert De Niro or Chase Robinson, but here's hoping justice is reached however it may come. And always remember that Netflix will still be there for you, and for the binging, when the work day ends, too.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.