CNN is gaining a reputation for racial discrimination after a $5 million dollar lawsuit was filed against the network by a former employee. According to the suit, a field producer by the name of Stanley Wilson was mistreated by his supervisor, who wanted him out of the network. The National Association of Black Journalists has long been concerned with the lack of diversity on many major networks, including CNN, FOX and MSNBC, especially in the night time slots and behind the camera.
According to the NABJ, the group “is concerned about the atmosphere for African Americans at CNN.”
According to the site PMCDeadline.com:
“In the suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wilson claims that Peter Janos, who served as his immediate or general supervisor for his entire 17 years at CNN, ‘never liked Plaintiff and never wanted him at the [Los Angeles] bureau because of Plaintiff’s protected characteristics, including his race, color and ancestry, among other things.”
Wilson put in 17 years with CNN as a producer before he was fired. He’s 51 years old now and is seeking to put an end to what he feels was disparate treatment. He also says that his firing was a form of retaliation against his complaints about his treatment and use of benefits.
On the same day that the suit was filed, Turner Broadcasting, the parent company of CNN, announced that it was cutting its staff by 10 percent.
Wilson says there is no justification for the network claiming that his work wasn’t good enough. He says that he has won several awards for his reporting over the years, and was seen as a model employee. In the year 2000, he was the first African American producer to be placed in the Los Angeles bureau and was the only black man in the entire western region until his termination.
Wilson says that his problems started when he began working with Janos in 2004. Wilson says that despite trying to move up in the company, he was also neglected and denied opportunity. He also says that Janos kept giving him bad reviews, which he didn’t deserve.
Wilson says that after complaining to the Human Resources Department within the network, he was perceived as a liability. He also says that Janos was the reason that no black men could be hired by the network in that region. Things worsened for Wilson when his wife had a baby in 2013 and he took five weeks off for paternity. That’s when he says a younger and less experienced white male was moved into his position.
Not only was Wilson terminated, but he didn’t even get the two weeks separation pay which he says is a standard within the company. Maybe things are going to be changing at CNN.
So, we ask you: Do you feel, as a person of color, that CNN represents who you are?