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‘Shut the F-ck Up and Deal’: Black Journalist Accuses Liberal Media Outlet of Racial Discrimination

The Young Turks Discrimination

TYT founder and CEO Cenk Uygur said the claims made against him are “completely false.” (Image courtesy of NewsBusters)

A former reporter for progressive news outlet The Young Turks has filed suit against the YouTube-centric media outlet, accusing his higher-ups of race-based discrimination.

The complaint, filed by seasoned African-American journalist Andrew Jerell Jones, alleges that Young Turks founder and CEO Cenk Uygur warned that complaining about racial bias within the company was a “fireable offense” and that he should just “shut the f-ck up and deal,” according to Buzzfeed News.

Jones’ suit also cited differences in treatment between he and his white colleagues, saying he faced improper charges of insubordination, was forced to deal with constantly-changing expectations and didn’t receive much of a travel budget for investigative stories. He added that other journalists on the “TYT Investigates” team were treated “less harshly” than he was.

Uygur has since denied Jones’ discrimination claims, telling Buzzfeed, “The quotes attributed to me in the workplace are completely false.”

“I thought Andrew was a good guy when he worked here – I’ll leave comments about his work to the legal proceedings,” he continued. “It’s really unfortunate that he’s decided to work with a lawyer who has now brought two different, unrelated actions against us …Of course we care a great deal about diversity in the workplace — that is part, and parcel of what we do and who we are. We’ll defend our record and not give into baseless demands.”

Jones also levied accusations against TYT co-founder David Koller and supervisor Jonathan Larsen. He said Koller reached out to tell him he’s looking into his claims of discrimination — but never followed through. As for Larson, Jones said his former boss placed him on a two-week probation period to evaluate his performance. During that time, all five of his story ideas were rejected and his request to be moved to another department denied, according to the lawsuit.

“He complained and said this isn’t working for me, I’m facing racial discrimination,” Bill Moran, Jones’s attorney, told Buzzfeed News. “The response he kept getting was you just need to deal with it, this is fine, and if you complain again something bad will happen to you.”

Before he knew it, the former TYT reporter said he was forced to resign and offered a severance package that would restrict him from suing the media outlet for discrimination. He declined and was fired just days later.

This isn’t the first time the web series has been accused of racism, however. Reports by The Wrap last month revealed old blog posts where Uygur made sexist comments about women and another 2004 post from Koller where he recalled seeing “po’ Black people just hanging out in the heat” during a road trip through Memphis, Tenn.

“I mean these negros were the real deal,” he wrote.

Many on social media weren’t surprised to hear the latest allegations:

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