Former KCAL News Anchor Sues CBS, Claims 'Anti-White' Discrimination Led to Firing

KCAL via Variety Photo Source: KCAL via Variety

Former KCAL-TV anchor Jeff Vaughn has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the California-based television station, alleging that his termination was motivated by racial discrimination due to being white. Vaughn, who was dismissed in September after eight years with the CBS-owned station, claims he was never provided a reason for his firing but contends it was evident that his race, age, and gender were the factors.

Vaughn is represented by America First Legal, a conservative legal group known for its opposition to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, arguing that these initiatives amount to "anti-white discrimination." His lawsuit highlights CBS’s recent efforts to boost representation of women and people of color in leadership positions, referencing public praise for Wendy McMahon, CEO of CBS News, for her role in prioritizing DEI.

According to Vaughn, the discriminatory practices were apparent in his exclusion from significant coverage events and promotional materials in favor of nonwhite and female colleagues. The lawsuit details that while Vaughn was still working the stations began auditioning his replacements, all of whom were “younger, racial minorities,” suggesting a clear bias in their hiring practices.

Vaughn's legal action is not the first to challenge CBS’s DEI initiatives. America First Legal is also representing Brian Beneker, a script coordinator on the show "SEAL Team," who filed a lawsuit against CBS earlier this year for not being hired for a writing position. Beneker cited similar allegations of discriminatory hiring practices against the company, alleging that he failed to acquire the position because he was not included in, “the favored hiring groups; that is, they were nonwhite, LGBTQ, or female.” Both cases also refer to CBS’s public commitments to increase Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) representation in their writers' rooms in recent years.

Vaughn seeks compensation for the alleged wrongful termination, citing damages, attorney fees, and other relief.

Nina Richards
Nina Richards
Nina earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Brandman University, laying the foundation for her interest in and understanding of human behavior. She works full-time at Law Commentary and is dedicated to merging her passion for pop culture with legal insights. Combining her analytical skills and interest in staying updated on trends, she strives to deliver pop culture legal news, bridging the gap between law and contemporary society.
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