A former freelance reporter for CBS is speaking out about alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of network execs.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Don Champion says he experienced years of bullying, harassment, and discrimination while working for two different CBS affiliates in New York before eventually being fired for no reason.
“This is my CBS story,” he begins, before sharing about his “horrible memories of being bullied and discriminated against for being a gay Black man.”
Champion first began working for the company in 2013 and says he was warned by his agent about two execs in particular, David Friend and Peter Dunn.
“Even before I started, my agent warned me, ‘be careful, you’re gay, Black and a man. David doesn’t like any of those.’ I still question how I got in the door at CBS 2 News–in the end, I think it was fate.”
Champion goes on to allege that almost immediately he was criticized for his “on-air presence” and “voice.” After working with a vocal coach, he learned Friend felt he came across as “too gay” on television.
“My life and career were under the control of a bigot,” he continues. “After live shots, I’d get emails from David complaining about little things like a fumbled word on-air. One time, he embarrassed me by berating me loudly in the middle of the newsroom.”
After about a year and a half, Champion eventually transferred to a different CBS affiliate, where he says the abuse continued.
“Sadly, the discrimination didn’t stop at WCBS,” he writes. “At CBS Newspath, word from a manager of me needing to ‘butch it up’ on-air got to me. There was also a complaint about me ‘queening out’ during live shots.”
After speaking to a higher up about what was going on in July 2017, Champion got a call from his agent saying his contract was being abruptly terminated without any real explanation.
“Looking back, I have regrets,” he writes. “I wish I would’ve sued. I wish I would’ve stood up for myself more, but there’s so much fear involved.”
“Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I was about news and how it was my dream to be a journalist since childhood. A dream and years of hard work stolen from me by blatant bigotry and the sad part is–there are countless other stories.”
Indeed, the Los Angeles Times recently reported about a number of Black employees complaining about a hostile work environment at CBS, with many accusing Peter Dunn of being the root cause.
In a statement, the network says it is “committed to ensuring an inclusive and respectful work environment for all its employees. In response to a CBS investigation in early 2019, senior management at the time addressed the situation with Mr. Dunn, and the company has not received any complaints about his conduct during the period since then.”
Read Champion’s full post below.
This is my CBS story… I’ve reflected on this photo often in recent years. On one hand, it makes me feel proud that as…
Posted by Don Champion on Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Give me a newscaster who tells the news. I want accuracy, clarity, timeliness.
Instead, the executives think we want a man with a deep voice, who may screw up or lie. It’s the dumb bigot who needs to go.
You had Les Moonves at the top, no wonder the bigotry and hate trickled down.
Masculine pressures and insecurities are just as problematic as hetero pressures and non-hetero shame.
Unfortunate; however, supervisors and bosses may not like you no matter what you do. That’s just life. And business. And office politics.
@moretruth that is bullshit. If i am not wrong, it is illegal in NY to get fired for being gay, furthermore, subjecting any employee, gay straight or anything in between, to bullying and harassment (thus, hostile work environment) is illegal anywhere in the nation.
Reducing it to “well, deal with it, your boss didn’t like you” is basically saying bigots will be bigots. No. Bigots will be held accountable and fired, as they should be.
This is another troll account screename from the same account that is “Roy Ajax”.
It also has a screename called “TheAbsoluteTruth”. I guess it thought “moretruth” wouldn’t be obvious. LOL
Of COURSE it’s defending anti-LGBTQ bigotry. That’s all it does here.
Yes Cam. And your post sums up what you do here…… calling out trolls and screennames. Yet to most and anyone who’s been around for more then a few months, know you’re guilty of both….. SWEETIE. WE GET IT, you have alot of time on your hands, but sometimes less is more. NICE TRY though. NICE TRY…….
This is beyond that, this is Homophobia!
What a shock, a different screename shows up to try to deflect from the fact that the troll account is defending bigotry.
You aren’t slick.
@ Moretruth. So when you get fired do not come crying to us. I assume that that is your thinking.
AWWWW. SCREENAME accusations and use of the word DEFLECT. Have you met your daily quota yet?!?! If so , give those tired key board hero hands a break! You’ve earned it big guy!
Let the folks at Queerty worry about people who change their screennames….. at this point you’re just making a fool of yourself…..
You have tried this same tactic on multiple other screenames. The problem is, your obsession with me always bleeds out. See, this is a thread about someone defending anti-LGBTQ bigotry and yet, you, pretending not to be a right wing troll has refused to comment on that and just obsessed about attacking me, as you do under all of your other screenames.
So again, the real story here is he was fired for bigotry, your other screename tried to defend it, and here you are still obsessed and deflecting.
Please, PLEASE send smarter trolls to do this job for you.
2019, eh? So why is he still there? Clearly there is a patters and i am going to guess it goes back years, and he is still employed?
Yeah, I’d say the reason there have been “no more reported issues” after Dunn was “talked to” is because there have been no more gays hired. Dunn got what he wanted and the network turns their head.
Men clube – igay .ga
NOT shocking regardless of network. It’s done all over. I’d rather see some flaming queen deliver the news than some “butch” reporter. It would be great!!!
rural queer socialist
Queerty media – and any others – show the epitome of hypocrisy
by denouncing this workplace for shaming this worker because of homophobic and misogynist stereotypes – by criticizing him/her/them/zim for ‘queening out’
actively deploying homophobic and misogynist stereotypes about Senator Graham (R-SC) calling him ‘LadyG’ – which is a homophobic and misogynist hate naming.
Shame on Queerty media and anyone else for hate naming.
Funny how people like you do not have any idea how stupid they are.
Your pointless comment on another thread was completely dealt with. Why do you bring up the sane thing here?
Why do heterosexual trolls come here to harass your intellectual superiors anyway. Do you enjoy being the bitt of ridicule?
We know what you are, and we see how deficient your intellectual skills are.
We are not fooled, but you are a fool.
Don…..I was in tears reading about your treatment by so-called professionals. I’ve been there too, in a different profession, back in 2003. I couldn’t “prove” it as that is how insidious it was. I’m glad you’ve publicly identified those responsible. The pain recedes but never goes away, as evidenced by the tearful recollection of my own experience. I’d bet there are others here who’ve felt this pain, too.
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