Jose Lambiet

Parties settle lawsuit over TV ‘fat shaming’ allegation

Jim DeFede
Jim DeFede

A longtime CBS4 cameraman who sued the station when it allegedly demoted him for fat-shaming star reporter Jim DeFede has settled the legal dispute.

The details of the deal, signed three days before Christmas, are not included in the file.

“The matter is confidential,” said photographer Muhamad Hassan’s lawyer, Peter Hoogerwoerd.

This much is known: Hassan is still working for CBS4 despite nine months of litigation.

After working for the network-owned station for 27 years, Hassan sued in federal court March 23, alleging religious, racial and age discrimination.

A former Florida A&M football player, Hassan, 57, changed his name from Wilfred Ardley since becoming a Muslim.

According to court papers, Hassan claims he was demoted from a choice assignment on the station’s investigative team for failing to make DeFede look thinner through carefully orchestrated camera angles.

Muhamad claims he was asked to “protect DeFede’s figure,” the paperwork reads. The complaint claims Hassan complied the best he could, but that may not have been good enough. He was demoted after a sit-down with supervisors during which he was accused of fat-shaming DeFede.

In his lawsuit, Hassan asked for punitive damages after also citing that one of his colleagues asked “what’s wrong with your people?” when Muslims were in the news.

Things got bad enough, according to court papers, that Hassan requested sensitivity training for his co-workers.

CBS4 General Manager Adam Levy didn’t respond to a request for comment.