Two CBS TV executives placed on leave following racism allegations

The National Association of Black Journalists called for the firing of both men after meeting with CBS officials

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Two top CBS TV executives have been placed on leave for allegedly making racist statements.

Peter Dunn, president of CBS television stations, and David Friend, the senior vice president of news for TV stations are being accused of creating a hostile work environment, making racist comments about Black employees, and making inappropriate comments about female employees. The company said on Monday the men were placed on leave pending an investigation by a third party.

Read More: NABJ wants two CBS executives fired amid racism allegations

The suspension comes after The Los Angeles Times on Sunday released an investigative report detailing both executive’s history of inappropriate behavior at the workplace.

Employees accused the executives of “bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists,” per The New York Times.

Dunn was known for referring to veteran Black news anchor Ukee Washington at KYW, Philadelphia’s CBS station, as a “just a jive guy.” Employees also say he bullied them between 2017 and 2019.  

Read More: Shawna Thomas named executive producer of ‘CBS This Morning’

Several Black journalists say both men harassed them to the point where they left their jobs at the Philadelphia station and some Black journalists say the men blocked them from being hired.

Time Warner Drops CBS In Three Major Markets Including New York City
The CBS headquarters seen on August 2, 2013 in New York City. Time Warner Cable dropped CBS in three major markets- New York, Los Angeles and Dallas – today, after negotiations fell through. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In a statement, Mr. Friend said:

“These comments I may have made about our employees or prospective hires were only based on performance or qualifications — not about anyone’s race or gender.”

Mr. Dunn did not comment about his allegations.

The National Association of Black Journalists called for the firing of both men after meeting with CBS officials.

In a statement, the organization said, it is “clear that there is a massive problem among CBS owned-and-operated stations, and in order for the company’s culture to be transformed, it must begin with the firing of Dunn and Friend.”

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