Walter Mosley Left Star Trek: Discovery Writers Room After HR Warned Him Against Using the N-Word
On Friday, the New York Times published an essay written by Walter Mosley, African-American novelist and consulting producer of FX’s Snowfall, about his departure from an unnamed series after the show’s Human Resources chided him for using the n-word in the writers’ room. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show Mosley exited was Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access. In his Times essay, the author says he had only been working on the show a few weeks when he received a call. “A pleasant-sounding young man said, ‘Mr. Mosley, it has been reported that you used the N-word in the writers’ room,’” he writes. “I replied, ‘I am the N-word in the writers’ room.”
Per his essay, a coworker had apparently contacted HR over an anecdote Mosley had told in the workplace. “I hadn’t called anyone it,” he writes. “I just told a story about a cop who explained to me, on the streets of Los Angeles, that he stopped all niggers in paddy neighborhoods and all paddies in nigger neighborhoods, because they were usually up to no good. I was telling a true story as I remembered it.”
The HR representative told the author that his use of the n-word had made the coworker “uncomfortable,” and that its use was “unacceptable” in the workplace, outside of dialogue in a script. In response, Mosley quit the show. “As far as I know the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence assure me of both the freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness,” he writes. “How can I exercise these freedoms when my place of employment tells me that my job is on the line if I say a word that makes somebody, an unknown person, uncomfortable?” You can read Mosley’s essay in full here.
“We have the greatest admiration for Mr. Mosley’s writing talents and were excited to have him join Star Trek: Discovery,” CBS Television Studios said in a statement Friday. “While we cannot comment on the specifics of confidential employee matters, we are committed to supporting a workplace where employees feel free to express concerns and where they feel comfortable performing their best work. We wish Mr. Mosley much continued success.”