Black CNN Producer Says Files Discrimination Lawsuit After Being Fired
A former CNN employee is seeking compensation to the tune of $5 million after he says he was wrongfully terminated from his job as a producer for the company after 17 years.
The same day parent Turner Broadcasting said the cable news net will lose nearly 10% of its workforce, CNN has been named in a $5 million wrongful-termination and discrimination lawsuit by a longtime employee who was let go in January.
Stanley Wilson worked as field producer and writer of news and documentaries, covering stories including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and elections and contributing to such programs as Black In America and Homicide In Hollenbeck. In the suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), 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 was promoted only once during his tenure at CNN, in 2003, despite applying for a dozen job openings.
According to the suit, “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. Plaintiff complained that Janos was an important actor in the wholesale discrimination against African-American men in the hiring and promotion of staff producers and television photographers in Los Angeles.
Wilson was assigned to cover a story in early January, and the suit claims that there was a question of attribution regarding three sentences. The story was pulled — which according to the suit, “was the pretext Janos needed to terminate Plaintiff’s employment.” On January 9, Wilson was placed on leave and told that “CNN was conducting an audit of the entirely of Plaintiff’s work.” He was terminated January 28.
Wilson is seeking at least $5 million in damages and a jury trial. He is represented in the case by the Law Offices of Lisa L. Maki in Santa Monica.
Sounds like CNN better get ready to cough up a few stacks.