A legal case against comedian Bill Maher and his use of the n-word will move forward after a judge decided a former employee has a valid discrimination claim.
Shonitria Anthony was an employee at ATTN, a company where Maher is an investor, and she claims she was fired for speaking up about the lack of response by her employer to Maher’s racist comments, according to the Hollywood Reporter..
On an episode of Bill Maher’s talk show last June, the provocative host of Real Time with Bill Maher “jokingly” referred to himself as a “house n****r.”
Of course, the remarks received a barrage of criticism and social media pushback.
Maher followed up with an apology and even hosted segment on his show to discuss the backlash, where Ice Cube so effortlessly explained to him why he shouldn’t use the n-word— ever.
According to the lawsuit filed by Anthony, she asked the company to hold a meeting for staff and management to discuss the effects Bill Maher’s comments were having within the ATTN office. According to the documents, it appears that the meeting never took place. Anthony also claims that she was alienated and silenced by both management and her peers at the company.
Anthony also believes she was terminated under the false pretenses of a layoff. Her lawsuit cites discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and defamation. She is also looking to collect damages for mental and emotional distress, lost wages, and punitive damages.
The company, however, argues that her firing was not in retaliation for the accusations she made against Maher.
Anthony’s case will now move forward after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sided with her, saying that her case “arises out of the First Amendment activity of the news site.”
“Defendants argue that, for a news organization, the selection of content editors is an act in furtherance of free speech, and therefore actions which challenge the firing of those editors are within the class of suits protected by the anti-SLAPP law,” L.A. Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield wrote in his ruling. “The Court agrees.”
Guess Maher can’t talk himself out of this one!