*For the second time in just over a year, CNN has been slapped with a racial discrimination lawsuit, claiming the cable company passes over African-American employees and denies them on-the-job training.
The latest is a $500,000 claim filed Dec. 10 by Ricky Blalock, a 51-year old producer for anchors Fredricka Whitfield as well as Ashleigh Banfield’s morning legal show, and a full time employee for the past three years.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he alleges that white CNN staffers were offered paid training while he and other African- Americans were not. He also says that after he filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this summer on the state of things at CNN, he was passed over for a promotion. The position went to a Caucasian woman, who Blalock claims had far less qualifications than he.
CNN “intentionally and willfully violated Mr. Blalock’s right to be free from race-based discrimination in his employment,” states the federal court filed complaint, according to Deadline.com.
Blalock says in his complaint that he asked CNN boss Jeff Zucker about why there were fewer and fewer African-Americans among the network’s executives.
It was the same question asked in an October 2014 lawsuit from producer Stanley Wilson, in his $5 million wrongful termination and discrimination complaint in L.A. Superior Court. The longtime field producer and writer of news and documentaries was pink slipped in January of last year after what he detailed as constant friction with his immediate supervisor Peter Janos, who was also named as a defendant in 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,” said Wilson’s 2014 complaint in terms similar to Blalock’s lawsuit filed Thursday. “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’s lawsuit is still before the courts.