The NAACP is calling out CNN over what they define as a “troubling” lack of minorities being named to executive positions at the network. It is the second major civil rights organization to tackle CNN’s alleged lack of racial diversity.
“It is vital that news organizations reflect the diversity of our country, which includes people of color in key decisionmaking roles which are responsible for shaping news coverage and providing nuanced perspectives, especially around issues directly impacting Black America,” the NAACP said in a statement.
“CNN’s lack of black representation in leadership roles is troubling and another example of the media industry’s reluctance to address an issue that continues to plague newsrooms across the country.”
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The statement follows one by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), who placed CNN on a “special media monitoring list” due to concerns over a lack of diversity.
The NABJ revealed that CNN President Jeff Zucker, who reportedly “has no black direct reports” and has not named “a single black executive producer or vice president” to his staff, refused to meet with them.
Update: @NAACP joins our call for a civil rights audit & review of executive level diversity at @CNN, which continues to refuse a meeting with our delegation. We maintain their response is a diversion from what matters most – #mediadiversity. Read more: https://t.co/gYJkc4wQte pic.twitter.com/R43YkjBwe0
— #NABJ Headquarters (@NABJ) March 8, 2019
The NABJ also pointed viewers to CNN’s own leadership page as proof of a lack of minorities being elevated to key roles.
The NAACP hammered Zucker for refusing to meet with the respective groups to discuss their diversity problems.
“NAACP finds it offensive that CNN President Jeff Zucker refuses to address this issue,” the organization said in a statement. “We are far beyond the point of accepting simple visibility as an instance of true diversity.”
In 2015, CNN had been named in a racial discrimination lawsuit that claimed the network was “rife with racism” and “bigoted remarks.” The lawsuit was dismissed.
The @NAACP has joined @NABJ in the fight for Black news execs under Jeff Zucker at @CNN. We thank them for fighting for justice and equality in the TV news business. #MediaDiversity #BlackMediaExecsMatter pic.twitter.com/r2k1y7mUaz
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) March 7, 2019
Last January, a TBS employee filed a lawsuit against CNN for racial discrimination against black employees.
“The current workplace culture utilizes practices that discourages or prohibit minorities from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes,” that filing states.
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