CNN and its parent company Turner are accused of systematically discriminating against African American employees, according to a class action lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

“This system prevents qualified African-Americans from competing equally for positions or even knowing that they are available,” the suit claims.

Atlanta attorney Daniel Meachum is representing two plaintiffs, Celeslie Henley, a former executive administrative assistant at CNN, and Ernest Colbert Jr., whose LinkedIn page lists him as a senior programming manager at TBS, according to

“African-Americans, especially African-American males, have historically received the lowest performance ratings than their Caucasians counterparts,” the suit reads.

“This is not some overly-sensitive black person with a chip on their shoulder and thinking that you owe them something,” Meachum said at a news conference this morning. “I was raised that if you get an education and you work hard, you get rewards,” he added.

“There are zero African-American males or African American females with the job title of vice president or high at CNN,” the suit says.

CNN has yet to comment.

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