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#Ageism #racism and #sexism claims at the New York Times

by on April 29, 2016

A number of UK papers are reporting that legal proceedings have been filed in New York alleging discrimination based on age, race, and gender at the New York Times. The story is covered here by The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Mirror.

What has clearly engaged the interest of the British press is that the CEO of the newspaper is Mark Thompson, the former Director-General of the BBC. Many will recall that during his time in office there were several allegations over the BBC’s treatment of older women including newsreader Moira Stewart, Countryfile’s Miriam O’Reilly and Strictly Come Dancing’s Arlene Phillips. Miriam O’Reilly successfully sued the BBC for ageism. Amid allegations that Thompson has exported his “misogynistic and ageist attitudes” to the US, he has been personally named as a defendant in the legal case, along with the paper’s parent company and his fellow executive Meredith Levien, the paper’s chief revenue officer.

We are given a certain amount of detail about the claims. The claimants in the legal proceedings are Ernestine Grant and Marjorie Walker. Both work in the New York Times’ advertising department and are black women in their early 60s. They claim that the New York Times has been “engaging in deplorable discrimination“. It is said that the company’s advertising directors, who have previously been a mix of races and ages, have become “increasingly younger and whiter”. The lawsuit is also quoted as alleging that: “Unbeknownst to the world at large, not only does the Times have an ideal customer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, unencumbered with a family) to draw that purported ideal customer”. The paper denies any wrongdoing.

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