Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fired Latina Editor Sues NY Post for Civil Rights Breach

The Post Apologizes - Or Do They? (4 of 4)Image by Tony the Misfit via Flickr
Former New York Post associate editor Sandra Guzman, whose six-year tenure at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid ended  when she was fired Sept. 29, has sued, accusing the Post of pervasive sexist and racist behavior, and claiming her dismissal was based on her objection to a controversial editorial cartoon that critics argue depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sandra Guzman v. News Corp., NYP Holdings, Inc. d/b/a New York Post, & Col Allan, Case No. 09-cv-9323), along with a separate claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), includes counts alleging discrimination and harassment, retaliation, and aiding and abetting under the Civil Rights Act of 1966 [42 U.S.C. sec. 1981] and the New York Human Rights law.

According to the 38-page complaint, Guzman, a black Puerto Rican and purportedly the only female editor of color at the Post,  objected to a Sean Delonas editorial cartoon that appeared Feb. 18, 2009,  and was based on an actual news incident in Connecticut, in which a police officer shoots and kills a crazed chimpanzee. The caption read: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," an allusion to the $787 billion economic stimulus package that President Obama had signed on Feb. 17.

Guzman's complaint alleges that the Post's Australian editor, Col Allan, showed a lewd full-frontal nude image of a naked male on his blackberry to Guzman and three female colleagues who were sharing drinks at an after-work function. The complaint further alleges that a Post  senior executive referred to Guzman as "Cha Cha #1."

The Post denied Guzman's allegations, and claimed her dismissal was because "Tempo," a monthly insert that Guzman edited, was being eliminated because of  the tabloid's declining advertising revenues.
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1 comment:

  1. An ugly mix, indeed, of racial hatred, ethnic slurs, cultural insensitivity and losing your job. They may even be related.