CBS Sued By Former L.A. Anchor Over “Policy Requiring Illegal Quotas For Race And Sex” At News Division

Former Los Angeles TV news anchor Jeff Vaughn is suing CBS over what he alleges is “a policy requiring illegal quotas for race and sex in the hiring of employees at CBS News.”

Vaughn, who for eight years was a primary anchor for evening newscasts at CBS-owned stations KCBS and KCAL, alleges discrimination “based on his race, sex, age, and sexual orientation.” Vaughn claims he was removed from his job because he “was not a member of the defendants’ preferred groups.”

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“His ratings were soaring,” the suit alleges (read it here). “There was only one problem: Mr. Vaughn is an older, white, heterosexual male. Despite his show’s successes, his great performance, and his exceptional working relationship with his co-anchors, CBS removed Mr. Vaughn in place of a younger minority news anchor.”

The lawsuit seeks at least $5 million in damages, with additional punitive damages to be awarded at trial, back pay and benefits, and a judgment of discrimination by the company.

In pursuit of greater staff diversity, the suit contends, CBS “implemented a policy that favored the hiring of individuals of certain groups and firing or refusing to hire older, white, heterosexual, males.” Executives at the broadcaster, “through a series of public statements, said the quiet part out loud.”

The new suit follows a similar complaint against CBS made earlier this year in a lawsuit by a staffer on the show SEAL Team, who said he was discriminated against by the company’s diversity equity and inclusion policy. As a recent addition to the fabric of corporate America, DEI has come under increasing assault from conservatives in recent years across the U.S. in a range of sectors. Brian Beneker, a longtime script co-ordinator and freelance writer, backed by former Trump White House advisor Stephen Miller’s nonprofit America First Legal Foundation, is seeking $500,000 in lost wages and a full-time producer gig.

Beneker’s complaint asks a federal judge to issue a declaratory judgment that CBS and parent Paramount Global’s “de facto hiring policy” violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Vaughn complaint also cites an alleged violation of the Civil Rights Act.

Vaughn’s attorneys say CBS execs internally identified a “white problem” in 2019. The company then undertook a series of initiatives to increase the percentage of non-straight-white-male employees, the complaint says. That push “went into high gear in CBS newsrooms” after Wendy McMahon was hired as CBS News and Stations President in May 2021.

Before being told he was being let go, Vaughn was “excluded and ostracized in numerous ways,” according to the suit. Despite the fact that the newsman had been at Ground Zero on 9/11 and offered to contribute to a 20th anniversary special produced by CBS News in 2021, he claims he did not appear in the program.


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