A black CNN writer and producer claims in a lawsuit that the network prefers whites for higher level positions.
Ricky L. Blalock filed the discrimination lawsuit in federal court on Thursday, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Blalock, who had already filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint over the summer, alleges that he was passed over for a promotion that was given to an under-qualified white woman.
According to the complaint, CNN “intentionally and willfully violated Mr. Blalock’s right to be free from race-based discrimination in his employment.”
Blalock began work with CNN in 2010 and had worked as a producer and writer for Fredricka Whitfield, Suzanne Malveaux and Ashleigh Banfield.
Blalock alleges that whites at the network who didn’t have experience for a job such as copy editor were given “on the job training”, whereas blacks were denied those positions.
During a meeting with CNN president Jeff Zucker, Blalock says he questioned the network head about the “disappearance” of blacks in management positions at the network.
This is not the first time that CNN has faced charges of racial discrimination, as The Huffington Post reported in 2014:
Stanley Wilson, described as a “51-year-old African- and Latino-American,” worked for CNN for more than 17 years, including almost 14 years as a field producer out of the LA bureau, according to court documents obtained by Deadline.com. He covered events like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the 2012 elections and the “Black In America” documentary series. He was the first African-American man to earn a producer position in Los Angeles when he was promoted in 2003.
Although he applied for “a dozen” jobs throughout the next 10 years, he did not get any, according to the court documents. However, younger, less experienced, white employees were allegedly promoted to positions he sought.
Also in 2014, the National Association of Black Journalists expressed concern about the number of black journalists who’d left the network in recent years.