In January of last year, FTVLive told you that KSHB (Kansas City) Reporter Lisa Benson had filed a race discrimination against the station.
Benson claims she was suspended and then quit after posting a story about "white privilege" to her Facebook page.
The Kansas City Star writes that Benson shared a link to a Guardian story that argues that white women play the role of victim whenever women of color assert themselves. The article is titled “How white women use strategic tears to silence women of color.” The story was written by Ruby Hamad.
Hamad said two white female colleagues at the KSHB saw the article on Benson’s Facebook page and contacted human resources. She said Benson was then suspended for making “broad, unfair characterizations of white women as a group based on their race and gender.”
Benson posted on June 13 that she was no longer a reporter for 41 Action News. She followed on June 19 by posting that she did not quit her job but was suspended for posting the Guardian piece.
“I want you to know, I did not quit my job 41 Action News — KSHB-TV,” she wrote. “I was suspended for sharing a meme & a Guardian US article on my personal FB page and subsequently told I ‘shall not report to work’ for the duration of my contract.”
KSHB, a Scripps company, has denied Benson’s allegations of discrimination.
“We can confirm that, in line with its contractural rights, KSHB did not renew Lisa Benson’s contract,” News Director Carrie Hofmann said. “We cannot comment on pending litigation. We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workplace.”
In Benson’s suit, which was moved to federal court from Jackson County Circuit Court, she alleges that her race was “constantly used” in deciding where or what topics she would be reporting. She said she was consistently assigned to urban core stories and was once sent alone to interview a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
KSHB sports reporter Demetrice “Dee” Jackson also sued the station this year for race discrimination, contending he was twice passed over for sports director after management led him to believe he would get that job.