The group of former female NY1 anchors and reporters who sued the channel’s parent company over claims of age and gender discrimination say Charter Communications is reneging on promises to nominate their work for Emmy Awards.
In June 2019, longtime anchor Roma Torre and her colleagues Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications/NY1. They claimed their employer has repeatedly prioritized male journalists at their colleagues' direct expense—a pattern of gender discrimination that only escalates as women reporters age, according to the lawsuit.
While that lawsuit was settled in December 2020 with the announcement that the five plaintiffs were leaving NY1, the group has filed a new complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, saying the company’s refusal to submit their work for awards was "retaliation" and will harm their job prospects. The women are asking the Commission on Human rights to open an investigation into Charter's alleged retaliation.
“Emmy awards are among the most prestigious recognitions a television journalist can receive for her work, and such recognitions are of enormous benefit to one’s career and marketability. Notably, all Complainants are now looking for alternate employment and an Emmy nomination would help in that search,” the complaint said. “By refusing to submit them for Emmy awards, Charter is materially harming Complainants and retaliating against them.”
The five women reached a confidential settlement with Charter in December. They are no longer employed by NY1, and the terms of their settlement have not been made public.
“We reached a confidential resolution at the end of last year and as a result, have mutually agreed to part ways. While the women no longer work at NY1, we do not prohibit former employees from submitting their work for Emmy consideration,” Charter Communications said in a statement Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the city Commission on Human Rights said they don’t comment on open investigations.
“We are confident that the New York City Commission on Human Rights will aggressively pursue NY1 for its retaliatory and vindictive conduct in denying our clients the honor of submitting them for the Emmy nominations they so deserve,” said their lawyers Douglas Wigdor and David Gottlieb in a statement.
The deadline for Emmy nominations is February 15th, and the former NY1 employees say they’re at the mercy of Charter Communications to submit their work for consideration because they “do not have access to the footage or otherwise have the ability to submit their own pieces for Emmy nominations without Charter abiding by its prior commitments,” the complaint said.
The anchors and reporters said Charter has "confirmed in writing that they are refusing" to submit their names for Emmy nominations. All five of the women said in the complaint that they had separate conversations with executive producers in December 2020 about their awards applications with the understanding that their work would be submitted.
“There is simply no justification for this other than to ensure that Charter could get further vengeance against these brave women who stood up for themselves,” the complaint said.