Young Turks Host Cenk Uygur Denies Racial Discrimination Against Employee

BAILEY T. STEEN | MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2018

Progressive political commentator Cenk Uygur, host of the YouTube-focused media network The Young Turks, has been accused of racial discrimination by a former employee for his investigative team.

The supposed victim making the claim is a black journalist by the name of Andrew Jerell Jones, a staunchly progressive reporter for expected group-think publications like The Guardian and The Intercept, alleges that his former boss Uygur — founder and CEO of the network — said that by complaining about racial biases within the company, Jones was conducting a “fireable offence” and that he should “shut the fuck up and deal.”

Truthful or not, that’s hardly the way to talk to the people of colour you claim to value the opinion of, Cenk. The listen and believe crowd are awfully quiet.

Blogger Steven Perlberg of the hilariously named “BuzzFeed News” broke the story, reaching out to Uygur for his own statement which was, “The quotes attributed to me in the workplace are completely false.”

Jones filed a formal complaint against the company for these alleged action, going through the New York State Division of Human Rights to seek compensation for supposed unfair treatment. The document mentions a redacted reporter, only described as being a white intern for unspecified publications, who got hired by Uygur — a Turkish man — instead of Jones.

Already we’ve reached an odd moment in progressive conduct. By the left’s progressive logic, there’s an interpretation of “fuck whites” one can notice on one side, considering a white person is not considered a person of colour by the far-left, while on the other side progressives have just broken their own dogma. Uygur is not white. Jones is not white. Redacted is, apparently, but was chosen for a job by a person of colour over another.

We don’t know if this was based on racial grounds, friendly nepotism, Jones’ own intolerable personality (and his trashy made-for-writing voice), we have no real evidence either way.

However, this particular progressive, as well as the figures and outlets leaning in his favour, have their argument resting on this foundation: people of colour can possibly be racist, not just white people. If this is not their belief, by this logic, Uygur, if he chose someone based on skin colour, by virtue of his own race alone, is exonerated from any potentially racist wrong doing.

Now that we’ve established what the fuck racism is to the far-left, Jones’ allegations now go into the area of disorganised mistreatment on the company’s part. He said that, unlike his white colleagues, Jones was given unspecified “shifting expectations”, unclear deadlines for his investigative stories, and limited travel budgets for reports.

This last claim is odd considering former TYT Politics reporter Jordan Chariton, fired for alleged sexual misconduct and potential rape of another former TYT contributor, was given plentiful funds for travel according to the accusations of Carly Hammond on Tim Black TV.

He, however, has still failed to be transparent with reporters asking for the exact amounts he received during the time of the alleged assault.

Jones continues to complain to executives about how his former manager at the network, a former mainstream media executive by the name of Jonathan Larsen, now heading TYT Investigates, reportedly treated other contributors “less harshly”, saying that he was given improper charges of insubordination and poor performance for unspecified reasons, leaving the burden of proof on TYT as to why the man was not on his A-game.

Jones claims he was then assured by David Koller — co-founder of TYT — that an investigation into racial injustice would be conducted, however says he never was contacted by the man again. His formal complain continues to suggest that he was threatened with an early withdrawal if things didn’t pan out. “If this all works out you are under Larsen,” one executive said, according to BuzzFeed’s report, “but he may also discontinue your services.”

“I thought Andrew was a good guy when he worked here, I’ll leave comments about his work to the legal proceedings,” Uygur continued in his statement. “It’s really unfortunate that he has 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 will defend our record and not give into baseless demands.”

Variety glanced through Jones’ profile on LinkedIn, finding that his work for the network began in May 2017 as a reporter and included in October, with the majority of his worked based in Brooklyn. Jones says during this time he was put on a two-week probation for “poor performance” in TYT’s investigative division, despite claiming he was originally hired to handle entirely different subjects like breaking news we see on TYT politics and sports similar to the work of Brown Fabio — I mean Uygur’s hired nephew Hasan Piker — and the cringe-worthy videos he produces on Facebook.

The complaints lays out a brief period in time when, several days after the probation was supposedly in effect, Jones submitted around five story pitches to Larsen, claiming all were rejected outright. Jones says he was being pushed to resign, supposedly offered some sort of severance deal that would restrict any legal action in the future, including on the grounds of racial discrimination. He claims he refused this and was fired a few days later — with the company’s firing giving some validity to the notion that they wanted him gone for one reason or another.

“He complained and said this isn’t working for me, I’m facing racial discrimination,” Bill Moran, Jones’s attorney, told BuzzFeed. “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.”

It’s quite a rich picture given the image The Young Turks presents — showing solidarity with black interest groups such as Black Lives Matter and their support of the #MeToo campaign from cases against known predators like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein to more nuanced instances like the accusations against comedian Aziz Ansari.

But The Young Turks should be used to the left eating them out, considering the report from The Wrap which, for some unknown reason, decided to dig up 20 year old blog posts from both Uygur and Koller that had instances of racist and sexist writing, be it almost completely humorous and Republican-edgelordy in nature.

In the blog posts, Koller described seeing “po’ black people just hanging out in the heat” on a road trip through Memphis. “I mean these negros [of colour] were the real deal,” Koller wrote. Uygur, on the other hand, made sexual comments about how women were lesser than men because they didn’t want to fuck him all the time, while others described how he was sad a rather fat actress on Ally McBeal had lost weight and made him considerably less horny.

These stupid posts from two decades ago ended up tearing some of his reputation among his progressive base, forcing him to apologise on his network and his activist group, Justice Democrats, forcing their own resignations.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia, but is also Putin’s Puppeton occasion.

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