NEWSFLASH!! Atlanta based CNN (Cable News Network) routinely passes over black employees and denies them on-the-job training… at least according to producer Ricky Blalock.
Blalock makes his claims against the Time-Warner owned network in a $500,000 racial-discrimination lawsuit filed last week and his action marks the second such legal action against CNN in just over a year.
According to Rodney Ho of The AJC, Blalock’s complaint states that CNN “intentionally and willfully violated Mr. Blalock’s right to be free from race-based discrimination in his employment.”
A full-time employee for the past 3 years, former freelancer Blalock, a producer for anchors Fredricka Whitfield and Ashleigh Banfield’s morning legal show, alleges that white CNN staffers were offered paid training while he and other African-Americans were not.
The producer also says that after he filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against CNN this past summer, he was passed over for a promotion. The position went to a white woman Blalock claims had fewer qualifications.
The plaintiff’s action is seeking at least $500,000 in damages and CNN has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Blalock, 51, mentions CNN boss Jeff Zucker in his complaint. Coincidentally, Zucker was named in a similar discrimination complaint against CNN last year by Stanley Wilson, another African-American producer.
In that case, CNN was hit with a $5 million wrongful-termination and discrimination complaint filed in L.A. Superior Court back in October 2014. Wilson, a longtime field producer and writer of news and documentaries was pink-slipped January 2014 after what he detailed as constant friction with his immediate supervisor, Peter Janos.
“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, terms similar to Blalock’s lawsuit.
“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.”
Both cases are still pending an outcome but it looks like CNN may have some explaining to do about it’s procedures.