Report: CNN Facing ‘Growing’ Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Jeff Zucker CNN Getty
Getty Images

A class action racial discrimination lawsuit filed against cable network CNN last year could soon grow to include additional plaintiffs, according to a report.

Hollywood Reporter Senior Editor Eriq Gardner noted in a column Tuesday that the class action suit filed against CNN in federal court last year — by two plaintiffs who allege widespread discriminatory practices at the network, including alleged pay differences and fewer advancement opportunities for African-American employees — could soon see an amendment filed by the plaintiffs that would allow other current and former employees to join the suit.

In addition to the aforementioned allegations, plaintiffs Celeslie Henry and Ernest Colbert Jr. allege that CNN (and Turner Broadcasting, Turner Services and Time Warner Inc., who are also named as defendants) gave poorer performance reviews to African-American employees, and that superiors at the network allegedly used racial slurs, including “Who would be worth more: black slaves from times past, or new slaves?”

After the defendants moved to dismiss the case, the plaintiffs reportedly told the judge they wished to file an amended complaint, explaining that their lawyers had been contacted by nearly 200 additional employees with claims of alleged racial discrimination.

THR‘s Gardner includes in his report the language of the motion to amend:

“Since the filing of this action, counsels for the plaintiffs have been contacted by more than 175 people, both former and current employees of the Defendant, requesting to be members of the putative class action, all having similar complaints of intentional racial discrimination, discrimination impact and discriminatory practices employed by the Defendants.”

The defendants reportedly have until April 14 to respond.

The class action suit against CNN appears to be unrelated to another racial discrimination suit filed against the network by former producer Stanley Wilson in 2014. In December, a California appellate court ruled that the suit filed by Wilson — a 17-year employee who alleges he was fired due to discrimination — could proceed.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.