On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, Wigdor LLP client and NY1 anchor Roma Torre published an Open Letter in which she described retaliation committed by NY1 just weeks after she and four other NY1 anchorwomen filed an age and gender discrimination lawsuit against Charter Communications, Inc.
In the Open Letter, which was addressed to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ms. Torre wrote, “In contrast to 2015, this year NY1 has excluded me from live coverage of the celebration. This year, only weeks after we filed our lawsuit, NY1 has informed me that I will not be involved in the live parade coverage despite my request to continue in this role.” Ms. Torre also called upon Mayor de Blasio to “condemn NY1’s actions in the strongest terms and continue to stand with us as we make change.”
In response to the Open Letter, Mayor de Blasio tweeted in support of Ms. Torre, “Keeping one of our city’s best journalists on the sidelines during such a special day is an insult to New Yorkers. @RomaTorreNYC is a tireless advocate who’s worked hard to earn the trust of New Yorkers — she belongs at this parade. Shame on @NY1.” New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also tweeted his support for Ms. Torre.
The New York City Council Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera released a statement in solidarity with the five NY1 anchorwomen, stating in part:
“We, the Co-Chairs of the New York City Council Women’s Caucus, firmly stand behind Roma Torre, Jeanine Ramirez, Kristen Shaughnessy, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci, five incredibly accomplished journalists who have boldly come forward with their experiences of systemic age discrimination at NY1.”
“The station’s decision to retaliate against the lawsuit by taking away Roma’s assignment to cover the celebration only adds insult to injury, and violates the values that these athletes are passionately fighting for. NY1 must do better, and we urge management to address these concerns as the lawsuit moves forward.”
The Open Letter received substantial media attention, including articles in the New York Law Journal, New York Daily News, New York Post and Adweek.