Former CNN reporter Saima Mohsin has filed a lawsuit against the news channel, alleging unfair dismissal and racial discrimination after sustaining a severe injury while reporting in Israel. Mohsin, a British-Pakistani journalist, suffered significant tissue damage when her cameraman accidentally ran over her foot in a car during coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict in 2014. The injury has left her disabled, struggling to sit, stand, walk, and work full-time.
Mohsin claims that she requested alternative duties and rehabilitation support from CNN following the incident, but her requests were denied. She further alleges that when she proposed switching to a presenting role to reduce travel, she was told she didn’t have the desired appearance. Three years later, the channel terminated her contract.
The former correspondent decided to bring an employment tribunal claim, set to be heard in London, as she felt CNN failed to support her after the life-changing injury. She expressed her disappointment, stating that she risked her life multiple times on assignments for CNN, believing the network would support her, but they did not.
In addition to unfair dismissal, Mohsin’s claim includes allegations of race and disability discrimination, as well as a complaint about the gender pay gap at CNN. She asserts that high-profile on-air opportunities were denied to her, with white American correspondents being chosen over her, despite her readiness to report live from the field.
CNN has declined to comment on the allegations and is contesting the claim on territorial grounds, arguing that the terms of Mohsin’s contract prevent her from bringing a case in London.
The lawsuit arrives at a challenging time for CNN, which has undergone significant job cuts and faced various scandals, missteps, and declining ratings in its primary US market. The departure of longtime boss Jeff Zucker and the subsequent short-lived tenure of his replacement, Chris Licht, have further complicated matters. Additionally, the news channel is navigating a corporate restructuring within its parent company, Warner Bros Discovery.
Mohsin currently freelances as a presenter for Sky News and has produced a program for ITV that highlights the challenges of living with invisible disabilities. She is represented by barristers Paras Gorasia and Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers, who also acted for cricketer Azeem Rafiq in his claim against Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
The presenter emphasizes that her lawsuit raises important issues concerning journalist safety and the treatment of women of color in journalism. She hopes to bring attention to the racism and gender pay gap she experienced during her time at CNN and advocates for change to ensure better protection for women journalists, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.
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