Former and current black employees on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against Atlanta-based CNN, Turner Broadcasting and New York based parent company Time Warner for racial discrimination.
“As a result of the current discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of DeWayne Walker vs. CNN, Time Warner & Turner, we have uncovered stories involving abuse of power, nepotism, revenge, retaliation and discrimination,” said Daniel Meachum said in a press release.
The press release provided a photo of DeWayne Walker, a CNN producer who sued CNN individually in January for $50 million for racial discrimination and retaliation for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He accused CNN of not promoting him over 13 years because he is black, skipped over frequently for promotions in favor of white employees.
According to his LinkedIn page, Walker is an integrated marketing manager at CNN.
Walker is not actually a plaintiff in this particular case but is a client of Meachum’s and his individual lawsuit is still active. Celeslie Henley, a former executive administrative assistant at CNN, and Ernest Colbert Jr., a senior manager at TBS, are the only named plaintiffs though Meachum said 20 to 30 other unnamed current and former Turner employees helped him out with information about their experiences.
“This discrimination represents a company-wide pattern and practice,” the lawsuit asserts, “rather than a series of isolated incidents.” He said the company has been discriminating against blacks for more than 20 years.
The 40-page lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia said blacks – especially black males – are discriminated against in evaluations, compensation and promotions. Blacks receive “disproportionately lower scores on evaluations,” the lawsuit alleges.