Black employees were made to work “3 times as long” as Whites for promotions at CNN and TBS, a former employee explained in detail to TMZ.
The ex-employee, identified by the news outlet as Wanda Byrd, has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against both networks and parent company Turner Broadcasting System, according to the report. Blacks and Whites were paid dramatically different salaries, Byrd said. To make matters worse, they were often “segregated,” pigeonholed into “less powerful and non-revenue generating” divisions,” she added.
African-Americans were allegedly promoted at a lower rate than Caucasians, with no people of color being named as a senior VP or a higher title, legal documents obtained by the outlet revealed.
Fewer promotions, glass ceilings and segregation created a racist culture at CNN and TBS, according to Byrd and the legal documents.
Byrd, who worked for TBS for 13 years, followed the same track as many Black employees held down by racism, she explained. The woman, who was a mid-level quality assurance manager, was overlooked for a promotion to a senior level rank. A less-qualified White man won the position, she claimed.
A class action lawsuit against TBS, CNN and Time Warner is part of Byrd’s plan in the near future to help other employees disparaged by the networks, TMZ reported.
This is not the first time that Turner’s networks have been slapped with discrimination suits. Celeslie Henley, a former executive administrative assistant at CNN, and Ernest Colbert Jr, who was still employed by Turner as a senior manager at TBS, filed a class-action lawsuit in December 2016, The Hill reported.
Henley and Colbert’s filing confirmed what Byrd told TMZ recently. The 2016 suit included data that showed “salaries paid by Turner and/or CNN to African-Americans compared with salaries paid to Caucasian employees” had “dramatic differences.” This information indicated a racist “pattern” that existed “throughout the company.” Data also revealed that promotions for African-Americans to high levels within the organization were nonexistent.
“In the 46-year history of Turner’s network, no African-American has ever been promoted or selected to be President of Turner Broadcasting, Inc, or oversee any of Turner’s networks,” the 2016 lawsuit read. The old racism allegations against Turner are still relevant today.