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Old 09-07-2019, 04:37 AM   #1
TMC
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Default Walter Mosley quits Star Trek: Discovery after another writer's N-word complaint

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...s-room-1237489

The novelist and screenwriter, who is black, wrote a New York Times Op-Ed recounting his decision to quit as a writer on the CBS All Access series. Mosley, who is also a consulting producer on FX's Snowfall, writes that he received a call from Human Resources earlier this year telling him another writer had come forward to complain about his use of the N-word, and that he wouldn't be reprimanded. "He said, very nicely, that I could not use that word except in a script," Mosley wrote. "I could write it but I could not say it. Me. A man whose people in America have been, among other things, slandered by many words. But I could no longer use that particular word to describe the environs of my experience." Mosley added of deciding to quit: "Someone in the room, I have no idea who, called H.R. and said that my use of the word made them uncomfortable, and the H.R. representative called to inform me that such language was unacceptable to my employers. I couldn’t use that word in common parlance, even to express an experience I lived through. There I was, a black man in America who shares with millions of others the history of racism. And more often than not, treated as subhuman. If addressed at all that history had to be rendered in words my employers regarded as acceptable. There I was being chastised for criticizing the word that oppressed me and mine for centuries. As far as I know, the word is in the dictionary. As far as I know, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence assure me of both the freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness. How can I exercise these freedoms when my place of employment tells me that my job is on the line if I say a word that makes somebody, an unknown person, uncomfortable? There’s all kinds of language that makes me uncomfortable. Half the utterances of my president, for instance. Some people’s sexual habits and desires. But I have no right whatsoever to tell anyone what they should and should not cherish or express." Producers CBS TV Studios responded to the acclaimed writer and author in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter: "We are committed to supporting a workplace where employees feel free to express concerns and where they feel comfortable performing their best work."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar criticizes the anonymous Star Trek: Discovery writer whose N-word complaint prompted Walter Mosley to quit

"The writer who was offended should have expressed their discomfort directly to Mosley so they could have a mature discussion," Abdul-Jabbar writes in The Hollywood Reporter in reaction to Mosley's New York Times essay on his departure from the CBS All Access drama. "The offended writer should have asked themselves a few questions about whether or not taking offense was a legitimate response to a black man telling a story that happened to him and quoting the dialogue used. Clearly, the story has much more visceral impact — which was Mosley’s point — when you hear the actual word being spoken so cavalierly by a police officer. And why was there no offense taken to the use of the derogatory 'paddy'? Finally, one has to question the ability of that writer to produce complex and layered characters and themes if they lack the sophistication to understand all that. HR’s response is predictable because their language policy, like so many other rules in the workplace and schools, is based on the one-size-fits-all condom of policies: zero tolerance. 'Zero tolerance' sounds like a strict ethical stance, but in reality it’s a lazy position created so institutions can appear culturally sensitive while really just trying to legally cover their asses. However, zero tolerance in anything related to free speech is antithetical to democracy and is destructive to promoting open discussions about important issues."

Last edited by TMC; 09-09-2019 at 08:53 PM.
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