A gay ex-CNN staffer from Queens claims he was discriminated against and eventually fired for wearing extravagant outfits that included mariachi suits, yellow track suits and cowboy hats to work.
The NY Post reports that in a $65 million (Really? $65 Million) Brooklyn federal lawsuit filed Thursday, former CNN studio technician William Kane claims that a supervisor, John Silva, hated his taste in clothes and recommended that he transfer to the makeup or entertainment units.
Kane asserts that several on-air personalities — including Anderson Cooper and former talk show host Piers Morgan — objected to Silva’s treatment of Kane and rushed to defend his zeal for out-there fashion.
Kane said that Silva especially objected to a full mariachi suit — complete with sombrero — that he donned on set in October 2012.
The confrontation came after Kane officially informed Silva that he was gay after keeping his orientation a secret for 11 years at the network, the suit notes.
Silva told Kane that the Mexican ensemble was “too flamboyant for a male in our department.” Meanwhile, Kane said correspondents including Fareed Zakaria and Christiane Amanpour went wild for the getup, according to court papers.
Zakaria even tired on the sombrero and Amanpour tweeted out a picture with Kane saying: “¡ARRIBA! The lovely Billy with our studio crew arrived on set in style today.”
Kane said he was eventually booted from his work on studio shows before being fired last July.
A CNN rep said she hadn’t seen the suit but noted that Kane’s complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had been tossed.
Maybe if he dressed up as a blackfish, he would still be working there.