A former Rochester TV meteorologist accused of using a racial slur in reference to Martin Luther King Jr. while on air has filed a lawsuit against the station that fired him.
Jeremy Kappell worked for WHEC in Rochester and was fired in January after apparently referring to a local park as “Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Park.”
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Kappell describes the incident in court papers as a “linguistic error” and says the station didn’t decide to fire him until after the mayor and others said he made a racial slur.
The suit alleges the firing violated Kappell’s contract and that he has suffered lost wages and emotional distress.
In a video posted to Facebook after his dismissal, Kappell said he was not satisfied with the station’s response to the incident.
“I’m so disappointed that my career could end this way and I’m extremely disappointed by my television station, whom I expect a certain level of support from and I did not receive at all,” he said.
he station says it is disappointed about the suit and is prepared to defend its decision.