Juan Williams insulted after ‘white’ PBS host disinvites him to do show about black issues

Longtime journalist and TV pundit Juan Williams, who has published widely on civil rights issues, says he is insulted after being disinvited from a television show that airs on taxpayer-funded PBS possibly because he isn’t diverse enough.

Williams, the co-host of The Five on the Fox News Channel and a champion of diversity in the media, who is of Panamanian heritage and grew up in Brooklyn, says that he was asked to appear on a show called “This is American & the World” to discuss racial issues in connection with the death of George Floyd in police custody. The request was subsequently canceled, The Hill reported.

“But before I responded to the invitation, it was withdrawn. The host explained that his research showed, and here I’m going to quote him, Juan’s background is 100 percent Panamanian, end quote. The white host said he is a fan of my work on television, but my background didn’t fit with a program about black protest. How insulting…

“When that PBS host decided that I was the wrong voice to discuss civil rights, he rejected someone who knows a lot about the subject,” Williams explained, in part, in a speech on Zoom for the CultureX Awards which honored him with an award.

“Yet to a white PBS host, I’m not a good choice. Not the right identity somehow to talk about our nation’s dealings with race. He saw my Central American birthplace, and he put me in a box.”

Williams added that “this is the kind of racial, cultural, and gender blindness that still limits opportunities for too many in American media.”

Williams, who immigrated to the U.S. at age 4, seems to epitomize diversity, but evidently it was not good enough for the host of the show that airs on PBS. “My dad is a Black man. He was born in Jamaica. My mom is a woman born in Panama to a father from India and a mother of African descent who was born in the Caribbean,” he detailed.

“A request for comment on Williams’s account to PBS’s ‘This Is America & the World’ was not immediately returned,” The Hill noted.

Williams, formerly of the Washington Post and who currently writes for The Hill, joined Fox News as an analyst in 1997.

In recent years, he seems to more and more rely on Democrat/liberal talking points to frame his views, much to the consternation of his The Five colleagues.

In October 2010, PBS counterpart National Public Radio fired Williams after 10 years with the network for controversial comments about Muslims on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor.

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Robert Jonathan

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