Philly Rallies Around Veteran Black CBS Reporter Ukee Washington After Reports He Faced Racist Harassment From Execs
The executives are now awaiting the results of a third-party investigation.
January 29, 2021 at 5:24 pm
Ukee Washington, a beloved anchor at a CBS station in Philadelphia, is getting support from the community after allegedly facing degrading comments from his bosses, BillyPenn reported. Washington is one of several employees who was mentioned in a Los Angeles Times report, which investigated the accusations against CBS President Peter Dunn and David Friend, the senior vice president of news for TV stations.
The executives were accused of “bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists,” according to the investigative report. Dunn allegedly denigrated Washington, calling him "just a jive guy." The president is also accused of making inappropriate comments to the anchor, saying, "all he does is dance … dancing, dancing.”
Responding to the report during a TV segment, Washington thanked his colleagues and the community for their support during the difficult period. He also urged the community to stay strong in the fight against racism.
"We all feel the pain of the subject matter," he said. "Clearly these past few days have been difficult for everyone, including my teammates. The details in the story you just watched are painful to all of us. We cannot and will not tolerate the type of behavior that has been alleged."
CBS3's @UkeeWashington gets emotional while thanking viewers and co-workers for all their support. "I do believe we shall overcome. We must." #FAMILY
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) January 26, 2021
The allegations surfaced after Brien Kennedy, a CBS Philly news executive, filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission last year. Kennedy said he was fired from his position as general manager after he took part in an investigation of Dunn’s misconduct. Other Black former CBS anchors at other networks then came out with more accusations of racism and discrimination.
Radio station KYW, formerly part of the same company, issued an inclusive statement in support of the CBS Philadelphia team.
“We condemn and denounce any words that degrade and demean any of our friends at CBS Philly, and indeed throughout our industry,” the station said.