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Gay birdwatcher threatened in Central Park gets his own TV show

Birdwatcher Christian Cooper
Christian Cooper on Extraordinary Birder (Photo: Jon Kroll/National Geographic)

Some wonderful news for birdwatcher and comic book author Christian Cooper: He’s getting his own birdwatching TV show.

National Geographic announced the show, Extraordinary Birder, at the end of last week. It said it would follow Cooper explore the “wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds.”

“Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above,”

Related: Racially profiled gay Central Park birdwatcher opens up about “Karen’s” downfall

Cooper, 59, is an avid birdwatcher who, before May 2020 was best known as a respected comic book author. He was Marvel’s first out, gay writer and editor.

However, that all changed when he took a walk in Central Park and came across a White woman, Amy Cooper (no relation) and her unleashed dog. She was in a wilder part of the park where owners are asked to keep their dogs on the leash to protect birds and other wildlife.

Cooper, who is Black, approached her and spoke to her about violating park rules. In response, Amy Cooper called the police and told them, “I’m in the Ramble. And there is a man, African American — he has a bicycle helmet. He’s recording me and threatening me and my dog.”

Christian videotaped the incident. He was not threatening her in any way.

Amy Cooper, dubbed “Central Park Karen” by many online, was later charged with a third-degree misdemeanor over making the false claim. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office later dropped the charge, pointing to a lack of previous convictions on her part and the fact she’d completed five restorative justice sessions.

Christian Cooper later created a DC graphic novel inspired by the incident.

National Geographic has not yet announced a premiere date for Extraordinary Birder.

Related: Gay birder says DA’s case against Amy Cooper feels like “piling on,” won’t cooperate in investigation