Philadelphia analyst says he was fired for being ‘too pro-Black Lives Matter’
Attorney and commentator Ken Rothweiler claims the local television station black-balled him over social media posts.
A longtime on-air legal analyst claims to have been fired from his local news station for alleged social media posts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Philly Mag reports allegations from Ken Rothweiler of being let go from Fox 29 News for being “too pro-Black Lives Matter and too anti-cop.” Rothweiler claims a back-and-forth with news director Jim Driscoll resulted in his untimely departure.
“Your words during our last meeting still ring in my ears,” Rothweiler writes in an email obtained by Philly Mag and sent to employees of Fox 29. He continues, “You had said to me that I was ‘too pro-Black Lives Matter and too anti-cop.”
The 64-year-old attorney had previously provided expert legal analysis and opinion on national and local cases with over 300 appearances on the network dating back to 2009. Although Driscoll did not respond to Philly Mag’s inquiry, the outlet reports he claims he never mentioned Black Lives Matter or the police, and that he only wanted Rothweiler to be less political.
“They would just call me and I would go on and do my thing. When I worked under Driscoll, things took a turn for the worse,” Rothweiler says to Philly Mag.
Under Driscoll’s leadership, the commentator was given the official title of Fox 29 Legal Analyst, a contracted position, which he noticed came with unwarranted stipulations.
“If I said that police officers should be arrested and fired for shooting unarmed Black people in the back — there were complaints from management,” Rothweiler says to Philly Mag.
He continues, “But I was only speaking to how these officers were possibly violating certain law-enforcement policies that deserved more scrutiny. There’s no denying that race plays a role in these issues and whether I acknowledged that on-air or on my personal Facebook, Driscoll seemed to have a problem with it altogether.”
A current employee at the news station anonymously shared their experience with Fox 29 affirming Rothweiler’s sentiments and concerns.
“It was only a matter of time before Jim [Driscoll] would have an excuse to fire Ken for not falling in line. When he stopped showing up to the station, I figured something was wrong,” says the employee to Philly Mag.
Rothweiler claims that after being explicitly told he was too “pro-Black Lives Matter and too anti-cop” in January, his contract was terminated. Despite this action, he was still called on a handful of occasions before his indefinite removal, unpaid and referred to as an attorney.
Philly Magazine also spoke with two current producers and anchors who confirmed they were informed or encouraged to cut ties with Rothweiler for appearances during new segments.
“I truly hope that what happened to me serves as a wake-up call to those still skeptical about how censorship and intimidation are impacting our newsrooms,” Rothweiler says.
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