Al Roker & His Entertainment Company Sued By Producer Who Claims He Was Wrongfully Terminated For Trying To Advocate For Black Staff Members

Al Roker & His Entertainment Company Sued By Producer Who Claims He Was Wrongfully Terminated For Trying To Advocate For Black Staff Members

TV personality Al Roker and his production company are facing a wrongful termination lawsuit.

According to reports, a producer who worked for the business claims he was fired for speaking up about executives “disregarding” mandatory diversity requirements.

Al Roker

Executive producer Bill Schultz, known for his work on hit series such as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and Garfield, reportedly filed the suit in a New York federal court on Tuesday (April 16th). He claimed he was retaliated against while working on the animated series Weather Hunters, a children’s show in development that was created in collaboration with Al Roker Entertainment and PBS.

Bill Schultz wrote in the suit that while the famed weatherman’s company held complete ownership rights of the series, PBS committed to financing 70% of the project as long as production met certain DEI criteria. In case you’re unfamiliar, the acronym stands for diversity equity and inclusion and is a practice used to help minorities get opportunities that might not usually be afforded to them. Schultz alleged, however, that executives at Al Roker’s company “callously disregarded” the DEI mandates.

Bill Schultz

He claimed that execs attempted to manipulate the mandate by having Black writers touch up scripts written by White writers so it appeared they were employing a diverse writers room. In one meeting, Schultz alleged that the story editor, employed by Al Roker’s company, told staff:

“he could not meet the production schedule if BIPOC writers were used to write the stories”


“he would need to hire experienced non-BIPOC writers,” 

Al Roker

Subsequently, Shultz said he and others addressed the DEI problem which resulted in one Black producer being reprimanded and he himself being suspended and later terminated for breach of contract. However, the reason given for the job loss was allegedly for failures related to staffing, among other things. Schultz went on to explain in the suit that diversity efforts were particularly important to PBS because the project’s target demographic was Black families. He reportedly wrote in the complaint:

“Instead of giving the chances to BIPOC writers as had been the plan, the story editor, repeating a strategy previously advocated and backed by Al Roker Entertainment management in writing, wanted to have ‘non-BIPOC’ writers write the stories, and then bring on a ‘BIPOC’ writer and after the stories/episodes [were] shaped, they could be ‘hand[ed] off to BIPOC writers,”

Shultz claimed that Roker had allegedly given “totally authority” to his executives, who he said “treated the DEI Policy as discretionary and an obstacle to be circumvented.”  He’s suing both Roker and his company for damages. It has not been reported Roker nor his reps have spoken publicly about the suit at this time.


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Authored by: Kay Johnson