Fired Emmy award-winning anchor sues CBS for ‘anti-white’ discrimination

A former four-time Emmy Award-winning CBS anchor is suing the network and Paramount Globe for discriminating against him using woke, DEI policies that resulted in his being canned because he is a white, aging, heterosexual man.

Jeff Vaughn, 58, has been a reporter for over 30 years. He worked as an anchor for eight years at CBS-owned Los Angeles affiliate KCAL before getting the boot. He alleges in his $5 million discrimination lawsuit that he was replaced by “a younger, minority news anchor in 2022,” according to the New York Post. The suit was filed Monday.

“The complaint pointed to a CBS goal to ensure that half of all writers be nonwhite by 2023 and an initiative requiring half of all cast members on their reality shows be minorities,” the media outlet reported.

“CBS decided that there were too many white males at CBS, and it acted accordingly. It needed to solve its ‘white problem’ by firing successful white males,” Vaughn’s complaint charges.

This isn’t the first suit filed against CBS over DEI policies. In March, a white, heterosexual male freelance writer who worked on CBS’ “SEAL Team” series also accused the network of discrimination and filed a similar suit.

The issue seems to be endemic at CBS News and the company’s president has been accused of discrimination from within the organization’s ranks.

“Earlier this year, a Post investigation revealed that CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews had been accused by staffers of promoting minorities while unfairly sidelining white journalists, sparking a major internal human relations probe in 2021,” the New York Post noted. “Sources claimed the probe, which was ‘cut short,’ concluded that the exec was merely a ‘bad manager’ with limited resources.”

Vaughn was informed by a general manager at CBS News Los Angeles that he was being let go in six months. He was told he had been replaced according to the lawsuit. The former anchor claims he was not given a specific reason for being fired but was told: “It’s not about the ratings.” He alleges he was frozen out of reporting and promotional events ahead of being canned.

DEI has been heavily implemented at the network and Vaughn appears to be a casualty of it.

“CBS, under George Cheeks, who now holds the role of co-CEO of Paramount and CBS CEO, had set a series of diversity goals, including staffing all writers’ rooms on the network’s primetime series to be staffed 40% BIPOC [black, Indigenous or people of color] in the 2021-22 season,” the New York Post wrote. “Seventeen out of 21 shows hit or exceeded that target, Cheeks said at the time.”

“In 2022, Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, the company’s executive vice president of Paramount’s entertainment diversity equity and inclusion department, said in a town hall meeting that the company’s ‘culture of belonging has doubled female representation, tripled people of color representation and we’re only getting started,'” the outlet added.

According to Vaughn, that goal was “kicked into high gear” when CBS News and Stations President Wendy McMahon came on board in 2021.

“McMahon was publicly recognized for her work ‘to make the station group more diverse, on both sides of the camera and in leadership positions,’” the suit contends. “The truth is, CBS News, at the direction of McMahon, implemented an illegal hiring, promotion, or retention policy based on age, race, sexual orientation and sex.”

Vaughn was ordered by his manager on his last day at the station to publicly announce he was departing and that it was “his decision to leave,” according to the suit. He refused to do so.

“The journalist refused, but after his last day on Sept. 22, 2023, the news team issued a statement live on air that ‘implied’ that he ‘left of his own accord,’ the suit alleged,” the New York Post reported.

“Friday was Jeff Vaughn’s last newscast with KCAL news,” his co-anchor dutifully read on-air. “Now, he didn’t want to make a big fuss about leaving, but we wanted you to know. He has been a vital part of the KCAL news team for 8 years, and we have taken great pride working with Jeff to share your stories.”

Vaughn is now being represented by attorneys from America First Legal.

“All racism is wrong. All racial discrimination is wrong. Making employment decisions using race as a factor in the process is racial discrimination and is wrong. We are proud to stand up for our client to vindicate his rights under long-settled law against what appears to be intentional and blatant discrimination by his employer because of his immutable characteristics. Too many employers in the United States have abandoned their commitment to the law, and we look forward to holding them accountable for any illegal actions,” Gene Hamilton, executive director for America First Legal, said in a statement.


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