CNN staffer says boss threatened him over discrimination case: report

A longtime employee of CNN in Atlanta claims a boss threatened him after he filed a discrimination case against the network, according to a report.

DeWayne Walker, a black man who has been with the company for 16 years, claims the threat came during a men’s room conversation in August with Whit Friese, a white network vice president.

“Just drop it,” Friese said about the complaint, Walker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Friese allegedly added later, “If you f--- with my money, I will kill you.”

Walker told the newspaper he reported the confrontation to CNN’s human resources department a few days later – then he himself was placed on paid leave the following day and has remained on paid leave for more than three months.

In November, Walker filed a new complaint, accusing the network of never disciplining Friese over the comments.

“It’s a travesty and a sham,” Walker’s attorney, Mario Williams of Williams Oinonen LLC, told the Journal-Constitution. “You’re using an administrative process to punish a person who made the complaint. The next best thing to firing someone is keeping him out of the office on administrative leave with pay even though he’s the victim.”

“It’s a travesty and a sham. You’re using an administrative process to punish a person who made the complaint. The next best thing to firing someone is keeping him out of the office on administrative leave with pay even though he’s the victim.” 

—  Mario Williams, attorney for CNN employee claiming threat against him

Walker, a manager of integrated marketing for CNN, claims he has been bypassed for promotion because of his race – and has filed several discrimination lawsuits, the newspaper reported.

He has also alleged that a pattern of “systemic discrimination against African American employees, particularly males,” is evident at the company. He claims that minorities who complain about their treatment are placed on a BOLO (“Be on the lookout for”) list.

But Walker’s previous lawsuits have been dismissed, with judges typically ruling that Walker lacked sufficient evidence to justify his claims.

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Executives with CNN did not respond to the Journal-Constitution’s requests for comment.

Fox News also reached out to CNN in Atlanta but received no response.