Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Morning After

In a brief interview early yesterday, I had a chance to ask Dick Jefferson to explain why he decided to take his former employer, CBS News, and former boss Linda Mason to court, and how he's feeling now that the lawsuit has been officially filed.

Q: Why did you file this suit?
A: I didn't want to. It is like suing your own family. Then again a family doesn't throw you out of the house after almost 20 years of dedicated service and do it shortly after you're almost murdered. So when CBS News offered me only six months severance after all those years I felt like I had to challenge them. Also the whole ‘gay rights’ misclassification bothered me still. First of all, they are not "gay rights," but equal right for gays. And corporations should not be allowed to say that a gay person asking for justice is somehow a gay rights advocate and controversial. That decision shows how discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, gives an employee fewer rights because he happens to be gay.

Q: How are you feeling right now that it's done?
A: It's sad and scary, but at the same it's very frustrating to learn that CBS has hired an outside law firm and will probably spend a million dollars trying to defend itself. And that's also why it’s scary, it’s yet another case of David standing up to the corporate Goliath.

UPDATE: I see the CBS News has an Associated Press story about the lawsuit up on its Web site right now, which features a rebuttal from CBS as its giant pull quote. (CBS) Not surprisingly, the New York Post version of the story ("Gay-Bash Worker Sues CBS") is my favorite! (NYP)

Previously:

  • CBS Eye on Homophobia?
  • CBS News Responds to Discrimination Allegations
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