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NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, NLGJA to Meet with ViacomCBS

WASHINGTON (February 7, 2020) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is concerned about two recent developments unfolding at ViacomCBS. The company has accepted a request from NABJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) to meet in person with its senior leadership regarding our concerns next week.


One issue of concern involves reports from Variety (the story can be found here) that indicate the company’s diversity staff is undergoing significant reductions that could, presumably, negatively impact diversity initiatives and commitments.


The second issue NABJ is seeking additional information on involves a Gayle King interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, during which King asks about a 2003 sexual assault charge against Kobe Bryant that was dropped. The interview clip has set off myriad reactions including people expressing disapproval that Ms. King brought up the topic during the mourning of Bryant’s death.


King has stated that she takes issue with her company, CBS, for posting the interview “out of context.” CBS issued a statement that said, “An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made.”


Reports say Ms. King has received death threats as a result of this issue. NABJ does not condone any form of violence.


NABJ will issue a statement on the results of our meeting with CBS following next week’s meeting. We are extremely interested in the specifics regarding both issues.




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