New York Times Boss, Mark Thompson, Sued For Fostering Ageist, Racist and Sexist Environment

The New York Times has always held the reputation for not being the most diverse newsroom in the landscape of highly respected media outlets and it looks like those who have weathered that storm are ready for judgment day.

The organization’s top boss, CEO Mark Thompson will have to fight the accusations levied upon him by two black female employees in their early sixties who allege that Thompson has fostered an environment that has become “rife with discrimination”.

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According to The Guardian, the multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit filed by Ernestine Grant, 62 and Marjorie Walker, 61, who hold positions in the adverting department of the Times, details the changes that have occurred over time as the company’s incoming advertising directors have become “increasingly younger and whiter,” which is a far cry from years past when there was a more diverse pool of employees in that department.

As a result of Thompson’s negligence and careless approach, “older advertising directors of color found themselves pushed out through buyouts, or outright terminated, but those vacancies were rapidly filled with younger, white individuals”.

The claimants also cite numerous instances when they had to endure being rejected for promotions and witness much younger and white employees move up the ladder despite their comparable inexperience. Both women also claim that “younger white individuals” who share similar responsibilities are paid a lot more than they are and all attempts to earn as much as their white counterparts were thwarted based on race and gender.

The lawsuit also goes on to highlight the perks the younger white employees in the advertising department enjoy in the summer, including being able to take Friday afternoons off – a privilege allegedly not afforded the older employees of color.

The Times expectedly denies the accusations against Thompson by the two staffers calling it “unjustified”.

But, the facts as they stand may reveal a long-standing tradition by the news institution as it pertains to a certain aesthetic that has been consistently adhered to.

As The Guardian points out – back in 2014, a survey by the Women’s Media Center produced results that exposed the truth of the lack of diversity at the Times.

Men and women were disproportionately represented as men had majority of the bylines mainly because they were assigned the most stories while 75% of the opinion writers were also male.