Advanced Television

Al Jazeera America faces “anti-US” charge

May 5, 2015

Al Jazeera America is facing a $15 million wrongful termination claim by a former employee, who alleges that executives at the broadcaster have exhibited an anti-American bias, and steadily brought in more Middle East staffers into the US operation.

The writ specifically alleges that Osman Mahmud, senior VP of broadcast operations and technology, regularly used anti-Semitic slurs, and that the broadcaster regularly removed female staff from meetings.

Al Jazeera America (AJA) is struggling in the ad-supported rankings, currently languishing at No.104 out of 106 as rated by Nielsen.  AJA has averaged some 35,000 viewers, up from 16,000 a year earlier.

Trade mag Variety says that a few senior executives at AJA have left in the face of changes to its programming.  It is reported that Diana Lee, EVP/human resources, and Dawn Bridges, EVP/communications — are leaving AJA.

AJA, in a statement May 4th attributed to CEO Ehab Al Shihabi, said “Al Jazeera America does not tolerate any discriminatory conduct, and we take great pride in the diversity of our organization and its leadership. The recent attacks on us as being anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American are absurd.”

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