• U.S.

Sexes: Craft Upset

2 minute read

Sex bias? A judge says no

For Christine Craft, the victory was sweet but short. The television newscaster had sued the former owners of KMBC, the Kansas City station that dropped her as an anchor in 1981, charging that she had been discriminated against because of her sex and that the station had fraudulently claimed it had hired her for her journalistic ability and then attempted to remake her on-camera appearance. In August a jury recommended that Metromedia Inc. be found guilty of sex discrimination and awarded Craft $500,000 in damages on the charge of fraud. Last week, however, U.S. District Judge Joseph Stevens overturned the panel’s findings and ordered a new trial on the fraud charge. Citing the “pervasive and relent less publicity” surrounding the case, Stevens said, “This verdict is the result of passion, prejudice, confusion or mistake on the part of the jury.”

KMBC’s actions toward Craft “were not based on her sex,” said the judge. “Her affinity for casual beach life and her apparent indifference to matters of appearance required the defendant to formulate and implement corrective measures appropriate to her unique circumstances.” Responded Craft: “I am reeling. It was a massive loss in the third round.”

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