What?! The pure CNN is being sued for racism? But that can’t be! They are the golden standard of etiquette and acceptance. They would never be racist…
Just kidding. Who saw this one coming?
Former and current black employees on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against Atlanta-based CNN, Turner Broadcasting and New York based parent company Time Warner for racial discrimination.
“As a result of the current discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of DeWayne Walker vs. CNN, Time Warner & Turner, we have uncovered stories involving abuse of power, nepotism, revenge, retaliation and discrimination,” said Daniel Meachum said in a press release.
The press release provided a photo of DeWayne Walker, a CNN producer who sued CNN individually in January for $50 million for racial discrimination and retaliation for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He accused CNN of not promoting him over 13 years because he is black, skipped over frequently for promotions in favor of white employees.
According to his LinkedIn page, Walker is an integrated marketing manager at CNN.
Walker is not actually a plaintiff in this particular case but is a client of Meachum’s and his individual lawsuit is still active. Celeslie Henley, a former executive administrative assistant at CNN, and Ernest Colbert Jr., a senior manager at TBS, are the only named plaintiffs though Meachum said 20 to 30 other unnamed current and former Turner employees helped him out with information about their experiences.
“This discrimination represents a company-wide pattern and practice,” the lawsuit asserts, “rather than a series of isolated incidents.” He said the company has been discriminating against blacks for more than 20 years.
The 40-page lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia said blacks – especially black males – are discriminated against in evaluations, compensation and promotions. Blacks receive “disproportionately lower scores on evaluations,” the lawsuit alleges.
It says based on data provided by Turner, blacks are terminated at a higher rate than whites and promoted at a significantly slower rate. And the lawsuit said written and unwritten policies and practices for performing evaluations and promotions discriminate against blacks. Those policies “allow supervisors to essentially handpick candidates through word of mouth for available positions and make promotion decisions on the basis of subjective criteria,” the lawsuit said. “This system prevents qualified African-Americans from competing equally for positions or even knowing that they are available.”
Meachum said at a press conference Wednesday morning at his downtown Atlanta office that he has been collecting information about CNN and Turner for three years before filing the class-action suit.