Now more than ever is the time for us to uplift Black women in media, especially when cases of injustice arise.
On July 11, it was announced that Shaila Scott is suing MediaCo Holding, Inc. (MediaCo), Emmis Communications Corporation, and WBLS following her departure last month.
The longtime radio personality — known for being No. 1 in New York radio — previously was the host of one of the top-rated, non-syndicated programs at WBLS and Hot 97. Nonetheless, the company decided to not renew her contract because “the station is going in a different direction,” she explained in her farewell message via Instagram.
The Lawsuit Against MediaCo
Now, Scott is taking a stand against the station to fight ageism and the gender pay gap. In the filed lawsuit, the New York native claims that she was paid less than her male counterparts and that her severance was withheld unless she promised to not sue for discrimination.
“I am shocked and saddened that WBLS decided that when I reached 59, it was time to discard me,” Scott shared in a statement. “I dedicated my career to radio and to the fans that listen, who I will miss greatly. I hope my decision to speak up will shine a light on the realities that women still get paid less than men for the same job and at a certain age, they are no longer valued.”
Scottie Beam, a media personality and daughter of Scott, chimed in on her mother “standing up to these bully corporations.” Additionally, she called out the ageism her mother faced. The 59-year-old was fired while her replacement is approximately 25 years younger.
“What was done to my mother was absolutely disrespectful,” Beam expressed in an Instagram post. “My mother has put 30+ years in NY radio and has been #1 with doing so. Mediaco @wbls1075nyc ‘different direction’ was AGEISM. Black Women don’t get the privilege to grow older and feel celebrated in this space. Instead they are discarded.”
Valdi Licul, Partner at Wigdor LLP shares a statement:
“This is yet another troubling example of the hurdles faced by even the most accomplished women. They are paid less than men who perform the same job and then discarded when they reach a certain age. Thankfully, Ms. Scott is one of the brave women who has decided to fight back.”