CBS is under fire this week after accusations of racist, hostile environments from employees following an investigation into the media conglomerate.
The Los Angeles Times released a scathing report on the details of workplace harassment towards Black employees at CBS3 Philadelphia headquarters and other local-affiliate networks after reviewing numerous internal complaints and court filings. A number of the complaints led back to top executive Ukee Washington, who on one occasion, reportedly described a news anchor as “just a jive guy.” CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn was also mentioned as one of the culprits behind creating a hostile work environment towards its Black employees.
“CBS is committed to ensuring an inclusive and respectful work environment for all its employees,” the company said to the LA Times in response to the allegations. “In response to a CBS investigation in early 2019, senior management at the time addressed the situation with Mr. Dunn, and the company has not received any complaints about his conduct during the period since then.”
The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists released a statement in response to the new report, stating that they will meet with CBS Philadelphia President and General Manager Brandin Stewart and other senior leaders to address the matter.
“As a Black journalist who also entered into a top leadership position following a previous history of racism at my media company, I share Stewart’s similar burden,” PABJ president Ernest Owens said in a statement regarding the allegations. “I look forward to the both of us, along with PABJ leadership, forging a new path of breaking down systemic racial barriers and helping to improve CBS3’s relationship to the larger Philadelphia community.”
I personally wish that I didn’t only hear Black anchors on air at @CBSPhilly speaking about how much they value Ukee Washington.
Racism isn’t their cross to bare and to not get a formal statement from CBS3 leadership to the public right now defending him is deeply upsetting.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) January 26, 2021