Two years after the incident, “Central Park Karen” continues to feel the ramifications of the actions she didn’t need to take. Call it poetry in motion.
2020 was a year of social and political upheaval, and it was incredibly eventful on the news front. One major story concerned Amy Cooper, a white woman who called the police on Christian Cooper, a Black birdwatcher in Central Park.
Amy told the 911 dispatcher that Christian threatened her life, when all he did was ask her to please put her dog on a leash. This earned her the moniker “Central Park Karen,” by those who recognized her racism and entitlement.
Shortly after video of the incident went viral, Franklin Templeton Investments fired Amy. She sued the company the following year, claiming racial and gender discrimination played a role in her termination.
In the lawsuit, Amy demanded “back pay and bonus, loss of unvested funds and other benefits, emotional distress damages and attorneys’ fees,” among other things. She also claimed Franklin Templeton “had treated her differently than three male employees who had engaged in misconduct ranging from insider trading to domestic violence.”
But U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams didn’t buy it.
According to CBS News, “the judge rejected those claims in a 17-page ruling on Wednesday.” As to the question of the male employees, he “ruled the cases weren’t similar enough to prove bias, partly given that Cooper herself described her own incident as ‘international news as a racial flashpoint.’ “
Judge Abrams added, “Amy cannot plausibly allege that she was subjected to a company-wide double standard merely by identifying three male comparators who engaged in another form of misconduct, but weren’t fired.”
Meanwhile, good fortune has smiled on Christian Cooper. National Geographic tapped him to host a program called Extraordinary Birder.