Disney: No Latino bias in hiring

The National Hispanic Media Coalition filed petitions Tuesday with the FCC, urging denial of the license renewal of 10 Southern California radio stations, including the Disney-owned ABC Radio outlets KABC, KTZN and KLOS-FM. At the same time, the Walt Disney Co. released an opposition statement that denies its stations have ever violated FCC rules and regulations regarding Latino employment.

The NHMC, as part of an ongoing battle with Disney, alleged discrimination against Latinos in the company’s hiring practices and has demanded full ethnic disclosure of its work force composition, among other demands. The move was expected (Daily Variety, Nov. 4).

In its defense, Disney contended in its statement that, in fact, the FCC “has praised (our radio stations’) recruitment efforts and record-keeping.” The statement also maintained that the company “strives diligently to ensure inclusion of Latinos in our work force, our governance, in onscreen development and portrayal, in our community support and in our procurement.”

The company contended it is “constantly reviewing our employment, training and development programs where our priority is the attraction of women and minority applicants.”

Disney also pointed to the fact it recently promoted Diana Medina, a Hispanic, to director of diversity programs, charged with “overseeing Disney’s commitment to Latino employment, employee relations, training, development and outreach activities. And it stressed the presence of Latino actors Jimmy Smits, Daisy Fuentes, Jose Zuniga, Tony Plana and Luis Escobar in primetime ABC programs.

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