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Al Roker’s Production Company Sued For Allegedly Failing To Adhere To A Mandated DEI Policy


Al Roker and his production company, Al Roker Entertainment, have been sued for allegedly not following through with a commitment to diversity.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Schultz filed a lawsuit against the “Today” host and CEO’s company as he claims that executives failed to commit to its DEI initiative, which would bring Black writers on board for PBS’s “Weather Hunters.” Al Roker Entertainment is the owner of the animated children’s show.

As an executive producer for “Weather Hunters,” Schultz addressed the issue at hand, confronting the leaders about the failure to adhere to the diversity program, which is mandated by PBS. However, he says that their response was firing him. In addition, a Black producer was also reprimanded for speaking up.

“I put nine years of my career into ‘Weather Hunters,’ a project I strongly believe in, with the goal of making a wonderfully crafted show for children to enjoy and learn from,” Schultz shared in a statement, according to the outlet. “I also believed, and still believe, that the project benefited by creating opportunities for the ‘new voices’ crucial in storytelling and that the ‘Weather Hunters’ production needed to live up to the ideals it was supposed to represent.”

The outlet notes that “Weather Hunters” was geared toward Black families, which is why the alleged failure to effectively stick to the DEI policy prompted Schultz to take a stand. Additionally, PBS funded 70% of the show under the condition of implementing DEI.

Schultz claims that he told Roker about the problem, but nothing was done on his end to execute a resolution.

The lawsuit also alleges that instead of hiring minority writers to actively join in on the show’s writing process, Al Roker Entertainment’s executives tried to use Black writers to just polish scripts that were already written by white writers.

“Instead of giving the chances to BIPOC writers as had been the plan, the story editor, repeating a strategy previously advocated and backed by Al Roker Entertainment management in writing, wanted to have ‘non-BIPOC’ writers write the stories, and then bring on a ‘BIPOC’ writer, and after the stories/episodes [were] shaped, they could be ‘hand[ed] off to BIPOC writers,’” the complaint stated, per the outlet.

Schultz’s complaint claims that Al Roker Entertainment’s alleged DEI failure violates New York State Human Rights Law. 

“The State Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination based on specific protected classes in employment, housing, credit, places of public accommodations, and non-sectarian educational institutions,” details.

It continues, “The State Human Rights Law also makes it illegal for an employer to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a person for opposing discriminatory practices, filing a complaint, testifying, or assisting in any proceeding related to enforcement of the State Human Rights Law.”

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