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May 6, 2015 12:15 pm

Al Jazeera America Says Allegations of Antisemitism and Sexism Are ‘Absurd’

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The Al Jazeera America responded to allegations of antisemitic behavior displayed by a top executive. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Al Jazeera America, the cable news operator which is funded by the government of Qatar, has responded to allegations by a former employee that a top executive engaged in antisemitic, anti-American, and sexist behavior.

Al Jazeera America does not tolerate any discriminatory conduct and we take great pride in the diversity of our organization and its leadership,” Al Jazeera CEO Ehab Al Shihabi said in a statement. “The recent attacks on us as being antisemitic, sexist and anti-American are absurd. Al Jazeera America’s values are based on the highest ethical standards and professionalism. Integrity and respect guide our conduct internally and externally.”

Matthew Luke, who was fired from Al Jazeera America in February, filed a $15 million lawsuit for alleged wrongful termination in retaliation for his complaints regarding Al Jazeera America executive Osman Mahmud, USA Today reported.

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Luke claimed that Mahmud purposely excluded women from emails and meetings relevant to their assignments as well as making antisemitic and anti-American remarks. Additionally, Luke alleged that Mahmud sought to replace an Israeli cameraman with a Palestinian one.

Launched two years ago, Al Jazeera America has some of the lowest ratings in cable news, drawing only 30,000 viewers a night.

Meanwhile, a top Al Jazeera America executive, Marcy McGinnis, said that she is resigning from her position over disagreements on the decisions and direction set forth by Shihabi, CNN Money reported. Two other executives at the network, Diana Lee, vice president of human resources, and Dawn Bridges, executive vice president of communications, also resigned last week.

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