More on antidiscrimination law vs. First Amendment
VOLOKH at MAIL.LAW.UCLA.EDU
Mon Mar 13 15:08:03 PST 2000
Any thoughts on the following? (I'm specifically referring to the
hostile environment and stereotyping claims, not the discriminatory pay
From Mooneyham, "Wrestlers File Discrimination Suits," Charleston
Post & Courier, Feb. 17, 2000, at C5:
. . .
A pair of African-American wrestlers and an Asian manager are taking
Championship Wrestling] to the mat - a courtroom more specifically - over
that the Atlanta-based company treats minorities unfairly.
"Hard Body" Harrison (Harrison Norris), Bobby "Hard Work" Walker and Sonny
Onoo (Kazuo Onoo) recently filed racial discrimination lawsuits in federal
in Atlanta, claiming that blacks are cast as thugs, pimps and "Uncle Toms,"
Asians as sneaky and greedy.
The suits, which name WCW and TBS as the defendants, allege the wrestling
outfit violated federal racial discrimination laws, humiliated minorities
created a hostile work environment.
"You look at all the wrestlers, and you look at the African-American
and they're not being paid the same amount as the other guys there,"
Merrick Bernstein said. "They are all directed to act to perpetuate the
. . .
Bernstein said the majority of minority performers in WCW - characters
storylines aside - were being negatively portrayed and were not paid in line
with their white counterparts. He cited Booker T (Booker Huffman), a member
the original Harlem Heat duo, as an example of a black WCW performer whose
character was being exploited.
"The guy is arrested in the middle of the ring last week and charged with
attempted murder, and they are saying it's the first time any wrestler has
been arrested in the ring before.
"Bobby (Walker) is trying to work under his 'hard work' sort of image,
you look at all the minority wrestlers who are performing in WCW, they're
wrestling under the guises of pimps, criminals, drug pushers, thugs. You
point to one single minority wrestler that has a good, clean image."
Also on the wrestlers' legal team are Cary Ichter and former Georgia
General Mike Bowers, who campaigned for governor of Georgia in 1998 on the
of ending affirmative action programs.
Bowers, in a published report last week, accused the media of hypocrisy
promoting racial stereotyping at the same time it condemns the practice in
"These are the same people looking to penalize John Rocker for doing what
is in these complaints," Bowers said. Rocker was suspended from baseball
May 1 for racially offensive comments he made to a reporter last year.
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