In a bombshell lawsuit, Emmy Award-winning CBS anchor Jeff Vaughn has claimed that the network’s aggressive diversity push led to his termination. Vaughn, a seasoned journalist with over 30 years of experience, alleges that CBS’s fixation on diversity hiring practices resulted in his dismissal simply because he is an aging, white, heterosexual male.

Vaughn, who served as an evening anchor for KCBS at 5 pm and KCAL at 8 pm in Los Angeles, asserts that he was replaced by a younger, minority news anchor in 2022. His $5 million discrimination lawsuit, filed in a California federal court on Monday, names CBS and its parent company, Paramount Global, as defendants.

According to Vaughn’s complaint, CBS set a goal to ensure half of all writers be nonwhite by 2023 and required half of all cast members on their reality shows to be minorities. Vaughn claims that this mandate led to his ousting as part of CBS’s effort to address what it perceived as a “white problem.”

“CBS decided that there were too many white males at CBS, and it acted accordingly. It needed to solve its ‘white problem’ by firing successful white males,” the lawsuit states.

This suit echoes similar allegations made in March by a white, heterosexual male freelance writer on CBS’s “SEAL Team” series, who accused the network of blatant discrimination. Earlier this year, a New York Post investigation revealed that CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews was accused of promoting minorities while sidelining white journalists, triggering an internal human relations probe in 2021.

Vaughn’s lawsuit details a troubling pattern of exclusion and marginalization at the network. Despite his extensive experience and four Emmy wins, Vaughn alleges he was systematically iced out ahead of his termination. For instance, he was completely left out of CBS News’ 20th anniversary 9/11 special coverage, despite being the only member of the on-air team who had reported from Ground Zero on the day of the attacks.

Further, Vaughn claims he was excluded from CBS’s new promotional campaign for its evening shows in the fall of 2022. “The billboard included every one of Mr. Vaughn’s co-anchors, all of whom were either racial or gender minorities. He was the only anchor not placed on the billboard,” the suit alleges.

The alleged discrimination coincided with CBS’s intensified efforts to increase diversity under the leadership of George Cheeks, co-CEO of Paramount and CBS CEO, and Wendy McMahon, CBS News and Stations president. Vaughn asserts that these initiatives led to his replacement by Chauncy Glover, a 37-year-old African-American anchor from ABC’s Houston bureau.

On his last day, Vaughn was reportedly pressured by his manager to announce that his departure was voluntary. Vaughn refused, but the network issued a statement implying he left of his own accord. “Friday was Jeff Vaughn’s last newscast with KCAL news,” his co-anchor read on air. “Now, he didn’t want to make a big fuss about leaving, but we wanted you to know. He has been a vital part of the KCAL news team for 8 years, and we have taken great pride working with Jeff to share your stories.”

This lawsuit underscores the controversial nature of diversity hiring practices and their impact on experienced professionals. Vaughn’s case brings to light the potential for reverse discrimination in the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

As this story unfolds, it raises important questions about fairness, meritocracy, and the consequences of aggressive diversity mandates. In an era where identity politics often takes center stage, Vaughn’s allegations serve as a stark reminder of the complexities and potential pitfalls of implementing such policies in the workplace.