Yesha Callahan

CNN Writer Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against The Network



A former writer for CNN has filed a $500,000 racial discrimination lawsuit  against the network, the second one the network has faced this year.

According to Ricky L. Blalock’s lawsuit, the network “intentionally and willfully violated Mr. Blalock’s right to be free from race-based discrimination in his employment,” says the complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

Blalock was a producer for Fredricka Whitfield and Ashleigh Banfield’s morning legal show. He states that white CNN staffers were offered paid training while he and other African-Americans were not.

“Defendants have discriminated against Mr. Blalock through a discriminatory schematic that allows Caucasians to receive ‘on the job training,’ which is training that occurs during work hours so that Caucasian employees who receive said training are paid while training,” the lawsuit reads. “Just as significant, ‘on the job training’ is the primary way in which employees who lack a particular skill set can actually gain that skill set, in order to qualify for, and actually gain, higher pay and greater prestige (job title).”

Before filing his lawsuit, he had a claim with the Employment Opportunity Commission, and was then passed over for a promotion. The position in question went to a white employee that didn’t meet the job qualifications and “did not have anywhere close to Mr. Blalock’s 20 plus years of relevant experience.”

Blalock stated during an open employee meeting, he asked CNN president Jeff Zucker  about the disappearance of black employees. In addition to Blalock, his supervisor, also black, filed a discrimination charge against CNN, but was subsequently pushed out of the company.

  1. December 14, 2015 - Reply

    I don’t think you can file a discrimination claim against the lawsuit (first paragraph).

  2. December 14, 2015 - Reply

    They better fight! Obviously, they are having to [fight] today because they did not fight yesterday. Know when you are offended and do something. When black adults do not not fight — their children have to pick up the pieces, and take up the fight black adults were too obsequious to wage.

  3. December 14, 2015 - Reply

    Mr. Blalock has to do what he has to do. Discrimination is very common in many arenas, especially in the corporate media business (which is controlled by select corporations). My advice to him is to get the necessary documentation, get a strong lawyer, and handle your business. No form liberation is established except by constant struggle. We are in a struggle for our liberation. This is a racial struggle and a class struggle. Also, another point is to be made. We need to set up more of our own black media voices that are progressive and shows our stories fairly. It is no secret that the alphabet networks sugarcoats our stories or outright show negative racial stereotypes against black people. The more voices from us that show our lives accurately and the more media that we control and own, the better that we can control the essence of our images. Unfair discrimination (whether it is racial discrimination, gender discrimination, etc.) should never be tolerated. I wish the best for Mr. Blalock.

  4. December 14, 2015 - Reply

    I’m not surprised this has happened–CNN has long been accused of colorism, something that Soledad O’Brien, herself light-skinned, pointed out a few times before she left the channel. Then last year, they hired all these new white anchors and got rid of the black ones or relegated them to overnights.

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