On Tuesday, a California appellate court ruled to allow former CNN producer Stanley Wilson’s racial discrimination lawsuit against his former employer to move forward, arguing that “the press has no special immunity” from such suits.
“In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, plaintiff verbally complained to the CNN senior vice president of human resources (HR) that African-American men outside of Atlanta, D.C. and New York were not being promoted,” the suit read.
CNN claimed otherwise, pointing to Wilson having been caught plagiarizing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, he maintained that the allegation of plagiarism “was just a pretext and that the real reasons were discriminatory in nature.”
As an example, he pointed to CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who was only suspended — and for only a week — after his own plagiarism surfaced in 2009.
In response to Wilson’s suit, CNN reportedly filed a motion arguing that Wilson was attempting to violate its right to free speech by dictating who it could hire and fire — and despite the sketchy nature of this motion, it nevertheless was upheld.
But on Tuesday, a divided panel at California’s second appellate district overturned that ruling, citing CNN’s “allegedly discriminatory and retaliatory conduct.”
“(W)e reject defendants‘ characterization of their allegedly discriminatory and retaliatory conduct as mere ‘staffing decisions’ in furtherance of their free speech rights to determine who shapes the way they present news,” the ruling read. “The press has no special immunity from generally applicable laws.”
In other words, CNN’s attempt to evade justice for its discriminatory policy has failed royally, and the chickens have finally come home to roost for this hypocritical network — one that claims to be a champion of minorities while it allegedly treats them like garbage.
We hope that, to the degree that the allegations in this lawsuit have any merit, CNN will finally have to face the music.
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