Ex-Al Jazeera Employee Suing Company Over Boss’ Alleged Antisemitism
A former Al Jazeera America employee filed a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination, claiming that his boss, among other allegations, made antisemitic and sexist remarks.
In the lawsuit, former broadcast employee Matthew Luke said his boss, Osman Mahmud would go on antisemitic rants in the newsrooms, saying things like “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”
Luke, who was director of media and archive management at the 20 month old New York bureau of the Qatari station, claimed in the Manhattan Supreme Court suit that his boss behaved in antisemitic ways as well. He said Mahmud sought to replace an Israeli cameraman with a Palestinian one, and that a second employee who refused to accede his request was transferred to another position.
Luke also claims Mahmud was sexist on the job, requesting from Luke to remove two female employees from an email list and even asking him to replace the two in a project with a male employee.
The suit claims Mahmud was promoted “because of his religion, nationality” and close ties with senior executives at AJA’s parent company in Doha, Qatar.
Mahmud’s Linkedin resume indeed shows the media man worked for the Qatari network between 1996 and 2013 as a freelance cameraman and editor.
Al Jazeera declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the company “does not comment on pending litigation,” in a statement sent to the Algemeiner.
“Al Jazeera America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is fundamental to its mission, and is boldly reflected throughout the company: in its staff, its leadership and its programming,” said the statement.
The Al Jazeera America channel was launched in Manhattan in August 2013 and is owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is partially owned by Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family.