A judge has allowed a case to move forward in relation to Bill Maher‘s use of the N-word on his HBO series.
Shonitria Anthony was an employee at ATTN:, a Los Angeles-based news site for millennials, that’s also backed by Maher (he’s an investor in the startup). When Maher received backlash for his use of the N-word on a June 2, 2017 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Anthony organized her African-American co-workers and asked the company to hold a meeting to discuss Maher’s comments, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Following the request, Anthony said she was “subjected to a series of adverse employment actions,” before losing her job. Anthony filed a lawsuit against ATTN: and its top executives in March for discrimination, with the company arguing that her firing had nothing to do with her criticisms against Maher, but because they were working on a business strategy focused on video.
However, a Los Angeles Super Court has ruled in favor of Anthony, acknowledging that her case “arises out of the First Amendment activity of the news site.”
Since Anthony has provided sufficient evidence that the discrimination she experienced from the company came after being vocal against Maher, the court has allowed her case to move forward.
“Defendants argue that, for a news organization, the selection of content editors is an act in furtherance of free speech, and therefore actions which challenge the firing of those editors are within the class of suits protected by the anti-SLAPP law,” L.A. Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield wrote in his ruling. “The Court agrees.”
Source: Hollywood Reporter