Kristen Shaughnessy claims to have been marginalized at NY1 despite years of experience and numerous awards
Irish American television reporter Kristen Shaughnessy is among a group of five women who have filed an age and gender discrimination lawsuit against their employer NY1 and Charter Communications in New York City this week.
Shaughnessy and fellow NY1 reporters Roma Torre, Vivian Lee, Amanda Farinacci, and Janine Ramirez filed their lawsuit in the Southern District of New York court on June 19. That same day, they published a joint open letter detailing their grievances.
Together, the five women form what they call ‘Unseen Women on TV,’ a group of female anchors fighting age discrimination in the newsroom.
Women on TV should accurately reflect women in society & be celebrated at every age, not treated like decoration that can be disposed and replaced with a newer version. We are fighting for ourselves and all other women who face this same struggle on a daily basis. #BroadcastWomen— Unseen On TV (@UnseenWomenOnTV) June 19, 2019
A tweet from Unseen on TV describes Shaughnessy as: “50 years old. Mother of 2. Anchor at NY1 since 1995 and winner of numerous awards. Kristen was the primary weekday morning fill-in anchor with approx. 45 slots per year. After the merger with Charter, her fill-in opportunities vanished.”
Meet @kshaughnessy2. 50 years old. Mother of 2. Anchor at NY1 since 1995 and winner of numerous awards. Kristen was the primary weekday morning fill-in anchor with approx. 45 slots per year. After the merger with Charter, her fill-in opportunities vanished. #UnseenWomenOnTV pic.twitter.com/bm2JpgoPIa— Unseen On TV (@UnseenWomenOnTV) June 19, 2019
Among Shaughnessy's numerous awards, she was named one of Irish America’s First Class of Top 50 Power Women in America in 2016. She has also been named as one of the Top 30 Media by the Irish Voice and has twice been named to Irish America’s Top 100 in America. (Irish America and the Irish Voice are sister publications of IrishCentral.com.)
NY1, a local news source for New York City, came under the ownership of Charter Communications in 2016 when it merged with Time Warner Cable. The lawsuit alleges that with the merger came a slew of layoffs: “approximately 40 long-time, older NY1 employees over the age of 40 were forced out, 7 while the layoffs barely impacted younger employees. While Plaintiffs were spared from this layoff, they have since been forced to work in an environment that has become exceedingly hostile.”
The plaintiffs go on to assert that executives are “grooming literal “replacements” that track each of Plaintiffs’ respective appearances and ethnic backgrounds.”
“By way of example, while Ms. Shaughnessy is being marginalized, Ms. Driscoll (36 years old, and also Caucasian and blonde) has ascended, including being given a daytime daily anchor position.”
Shaughnessy presents evidence of decreased airtime despite her lengthy tenure with NY1 and numerous awards. The lawsuit claims also that she was recently “demoted” to the most junior reporting position.
On June 19, Shaughnessy shared the letter on Twitter, noting “Thank you to all those who have reached out. We appreciate it.”
A letter from the five of us. Thank you to all those who have reached out. We appreciate it. https://t.co/YfxlbhbJNA— kristen shaughnessy (@kshaughnessy2) June 19, 2019
She also shared a video on the Unseen on TV Twitter account thanking people for their support:
Here's @kshaughnessy2 with a message to everyone who has sent us words of encouragement & support since filing our lawsuit against @NY1 yesterday. It means the world to us and we really cannot thank you enough. #BroadcastWomen #DisruptTheStatusQuo pic.twitter.com/wfV8uGkSMU— Unseen On TV (@UnseenWomenOnTV) June 20, 2019
What do you think of the lawsuit filed by the five women? Let us know in the comments