Black Christian producer sues CNN for racial, religious discrimination
A black Christian associate producer is suing CNN after being fired from the news organization. The producer, Omar Butcher, is claiming that CNN engaged in both racial and religious discrimination.
Butcher said that he was targeted after he complained about his colleagues’ “profane language,” including phrases that “take the Lord’s name in vain” such as “Jesus Christ” and “God damn.”
He described how he had emailed the team to ask them not to speak like that around him. However, according to Butcher, not only did the behavior continue, but he believes they increased their use of the so-called profane language in an attempt to harass him.
He claims that it was so bad that he at one point walked out of a meeting when his colleagues would not stop, a decision that the Vice President of Dayside Programming said would yield repercussions for Butcher if he did it again.
In addition to complaining of religious discrimination, Butcher said that he complained to HR last year about a colleague’s “obvious and negative sounding comment about the increase in African American voices on our air” and “the hostile and negative climate” at CNN. He specifically called out CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield, who asked on air if an “entire generation” of African-Americans had been “lost.”
In the suit, Butcher claims that he was retaliated against for complaining and is seeking full back pay and reinstatement to his former position.