A Bay Area man claims in a lawsuit that radio broadcaster Sirius XM fired him for publicly protesting Sirius’s hiring of far-right former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Daniel Acosta said in the suit that he worked from 2010 to 2018 as a co-host of sports programs at the San Francisco office of Sirius, which broadcasts online and via satellite. In 2017, after Sirius hired Bannon — President Donald Trump’s controversial strategist — Acosta posted on social media his opinions about the hiring, the lawsuit said.
Bannon, who supported Trump’s crusade for a border wall with Mexico, and argued for reduced immigration to the U.S., was executive chairman of Breitbart News, which he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” The alt-right is a nationalist conservative movement centered on identity politics and popular among white supremacists. Bannon was brought on as a Sirius host for the “Breitbart News Daily” on a conservative station in December 2017 but Sirius cut him from the air scarcely a month later after he quit Breitbart.
Acosta, of San Francisco, alleged in the suit that Bannon’s hiring created a “racially hostile work environment.”
After Acosta posted on social media his response to Bannon’s hiring, he was reprimanded by his supervisor and told to “stop retweeting negatively about Steve Bannon,” the suit alleged. Acosta claimed he was told his contract was not being renewed and he was being terminated from his job because he didn’t apologize for his “stance toward Steve Bannon.”
Acosta also alleged in the suit that his status as a Hispanic American also played a role in his being denied promotions, paid less than white colleagues, and terminated from his job.