Former CBS Anchor Sues Network for Discrimination Over Supposed Race, Sex Quotas

Jeff Vaughn accuses Paramount Global of implementing a policy that “favored the hiring of individuals of certain groups and firing or refusing to hire older, white, heterosexual males”

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Former CBS anchor Jeff Vaughn is suing the network and its parent company Paramount Global for discrimination, alleging that his ex-employers implemented policies to increase diversity that “favored the hiring of individuals of certain groups and firing or refusing to hire older, white, heterosexual males.”

“CBS decided that there were too many white males at CBS, and it acted
accordingly. It needed to solve its ‘white problem’ by firing successful white males,” the Monday filing, which was obtained by TheWrap, states.

Vaughn’s lawyers allege he was “excluded and ostracized in numerous ways,” including being left out of CBS News’ coverage of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the November 2021 “Chips for Kids” charity event and the Rams Super Bowl Victory Parade in February 2022.

He also claims CBS News had “illegal quotas for race and sex in the hiring of employees.”

A few days prior to his exit, the lawsuit argues that CBS manager Joel Vilmenay asked to extend Vaughn’s contract through the holidays of 2022 and that they “couldn’t find the ‘right person’ to fill his position.”

“Mr. Vaughn agreed in hopes that, ultimately, Vilmenay would reconsider
and decide to keep him on the team. Mr. Vaughn wanted to keep his job. But Vilmenay made himself completely unavailable to meet with Mr. Vaughn,” the suit adds. “He would not talk with him on the phone, let alone meet with him in person. Vilmenay intentionally avoided contact with Mr. Vaughn in the office.”

It goes on to say that CBS held auditions for Vaughn’s positions in July 2023 and that the contenders who were brought in were “younger, racial minorities.”

“Despite Mr. Vaughn’s attempts to negotiate, and despite his high ratings, CBS removed him when they finally found the ‘right person’ … To make matters worse and to further humiliate Mr. Vaughn, Vilmenay asked him to publicly announce that he was saying goodbye and that it was his own decision to leave,” the suit continues. “He was never given a reason for his firing. But it was obvious. He was too old, and not a member of the right race, sex or sexual orientation category for CBS’ retention policy.”

The lawsuit follows a similar complaint from “SEAL Team” writer Brian Beneker filed in March, which CBS has moved to dismiss.

Vaughn is represented by America First Legal Foundation, a conservative group founded by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller. Representatives for Paramount Global did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report this news.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.


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