CBS put Dunn and Friend on leave, journalists and the community react

by Jamyra Perry
Philadelphia Tribune Staff Writer

Journalists and community members are reacting to CBS’s decision to place two senior executives, Peter Dunn and David Friend, on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, as detailed in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.

“We see this move by CBS as the first step,” said NABJ Vice President-Digital Roland S. Martin. “The allegations leveled against Dunn and Friend are too much to bear, and they are in no position to change the shameful conditions of CBS employees nationwide. They must go,” Martin said. “The stories we are hearing are shocking including that Philadelphia has not had a full-time Black news producer in six years. That is unconscionable in a city that is 43% African American.”

On Tuesday night, Ukee Washington went on air to thank viewers for their support following the allegations of racial remarks made against him.

“These past few days have been difficult for everyone, including my teammates, the details in the story you just watched are painful for all of us. We cannot, and we will not tolerate the type of behavior that’s been alleged, there’s no room for it anywhere, anytime,” the veteran broadcaster said.

Washington’s fraternity brothers also released a statement in response to the way he was allegedly treated by station management.

“We, the members of the Philadelphia Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi stand boldly and proudly with our Fraternity Brother Ulysses Samuel Washington III and denounce the mischaracterization and disparaging remarks made against his personal and professional character,” the statement said.

As part of the statement, the organization offered next steps for CBS.

“We ask the owners and executive staff of CBS to inject the words of ‘No Place for Hate’ into their business environment and policy holistically. We implore the owners to weed out systemic racism and the practices that have plagued the Black community for centuries and implement systematic changes,” it said.

Washington ended his statement to viewers with some advice his mother gave him as well as some advice of his own.

“My mom told me as a kid, that there is strength in numbers it’s still true. We all have the power to create change and we can do it together. You know how I love to use the word family and then, in my opinion, is what we all are children of God, so do me a favor. If you have young children, give them a hug. Tell them it’s gonna be all right. Because in my heart. I do believe. We shall overcome,” he said.

FEATURED IMAGE: One of the allegations against CBS executives involves comments about anchor Ukee Washington, shown here receiving an award from Bebashi executive director Linda Martin.


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