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Bird watcher at center of ‘Central Park Karen’ saga gets TV show on National Geographic

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The black comic book writer and scientist who was threatened by police by a white woman after she told him to leash his dog in New York’s Central Park is set to launch his own TV show.

Christian Cooper will star in National Geographic’s Extraordinary Birder, which is set to be released on June 17, the channel announced. It comes three years after he was confronted by Amy Cooper on May 25, 2020 – the same day George Floyd was murdered.

Christian Cooper, 59, was birdwatching in the Ramble area of ​​the park at the time and asked Cooper – no relation – to keep his dog on a leash in accordance with park rules.

The new trailer makes no reference to the Central Park incident. It begins with the Harvard-trained scientist’s statement, “I’m Christian Cooper and I’m a birdwatcher!”

The show’s exit comes at the same time that Amy Cooper is deeply embroiled in a wrongful termination lawsuit against her former employer, Wall Street bank Franklin Templeton. The firm fired Amy Cooper the day after the video was released.

While holding her dog by his collar, (pictured), Amy Cooper – no relation to Christian Cooper – told him in the now viral video that she was going to ‘take your picture and call the cops’ I will tell them that there is an African American man who threatens my life’

In a trailer for Christian Cooper’s new show, he is seen in various exotic locations stalking beautiful birds like a big blue.

“The fun of birdwatching is that you never know what you’re going to get…that’s what it’s all about,” he says.

‘Whether [he is] braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, wandering through the rainforests of Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn more about these extraordinary creatures at feathers and show us the remarkable world in the sky above,’ read a press release promoting the show.

Amy Cooper, meanwhile, has kept a low profile since the incident and did not respond to a request for comment. She also continues to fight his shooting through the courts.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “was skeptical” of Amy Cooper’s arguments in her appeal against a lower court’s decision to dismiss his complaint for unfair dismissal, according to the New York Law Journal.

When Amy Cooper was fired, Franklin Templeton said in a statement that the bank “does not tolerate any form of racism” and that it conducted an “internal review” before making its decision.

The woman, nicknamed “Central Park Karen”, began her trial in May 2021, alleging she had been defamed by the bank.

Her attorney, Matt Litt, argued that the wording of the company’s statement implied that investigators “had facts not publicly known and, second, that the defendants used those facts to determine that Ms. Cooper was racist,” reports Dealbreaker.

National Geographic announced that Cooper will take viewers through several locations, such as Alaska and Puerto Rico, to watch the birds.

Circuit Judge Alison Nathan disagreed with Litt’s assessment, saying the company made it clear in its statement that the decision related to its review of the Central Park incident.

In another exchange, Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler asked Litt if there were other things Franklin Templeton should have considered before firing Amy Cooper.

Litt said the company “said” she was racist.

‘Where did they say she was racist?. They said ‘We don’t tolerate racism’…that’s different,’ Judge Barrington Parker cut.

“The statement was related to Amy each time,” Litt replied.

‘Of course it was. If you watch the video, the connection is automatic. Have you seen the video?’ When the attorney said he had Parker, he continued, “She’s over there saying, ‘I’m scared for my life because this black man is filming me.

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Christian Cooper said CBS Matinees in June 2020 that he said, “‘Excuse me, ma’am, but dogs at the Ramble must be on a leash at all times’…And she said, “Well, the dog parks are closed.

Amy said she had to flee the country and was “suicidal” after the incident, where she was charged with a misdemeanor and lost her job.

He can be heard in the video he recorded telling Amy to “please stay away from me”, to which she replied, while holding her dog by his collar, that she was going to take your picture and call the cops. . I’ll tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.

“She basically pulled the pin on the running grenade and tried to throw it at me,” he told CBS Mornings.

Cooper’s video garnered thousands of views and Amy was nicknamed the “Central Park Karen” and eventually lost her job and was charged with a misdemeanor for making a false police report. The charges were later dropped after Manhattan prosecutors said she learned her lesson in therapy.

Amy Cooper told Bari Weiss on her Honesty podcast that she was “like a lonely woman in the park” and was unsure if she had “another option” besides contacting the authorities and had “explored all my options”.

‘I tried to leave. I tried to look for someone in the area. There was no noise, no sound,’ she said on the podcast.

She later claimed on the podcast that Christian told her, “If you’re going to do what you want to do, then I’m going to do what I want to do, but you’re not going to like it,” which Christian confirmed to CBS. Mornings was true.

The birder had brought out dog treats to help Amy keep her dog on a leash — an old birder trick, he said. However, Amy didn’t see it that way.

She said on the podcast: ”I’m trying to figure out what does this mean? Is this a physical attack on me? An attack on my dog? What is he about to do?

‘I look up and he’s got these dog treats in one hand and a bike helmet in the other hand and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, is this guy going to lure my dog ​​in and try to hit him with it? his bike helmet? And if I end up there, am I going to get hit by that bike helmet?”‘

Amy also says she was taken aback by Christian’s change in behavior when she called the cops.

“It’s really weird because he’s still standing there, you know, the same very physical posture, and suddenly out of him comes this voice of a man who’s been very controlling of me,” she says.

‘Suddenly, you know, almost that victimized voice, [saying,] ” Do not come near me. Don’t come any closer,” she said.

‘Like, almost like he’s terrified of me… For me, it’s even more terrifying now because you’re not yelling at me anymore – if you kept yelling at me, at least it was consistent, but now everything his verbal behavior has changed.’

Amy says when she asked Christian to stop recording, he refused, adding to her anxiety.

“By the time she makes that phone call, it’s very clear that, you know, there’s no physical threat to her,” Christian told CBS Mornings. “It’s the iPhone and dog treats.”

Amy also revealed on the podcast that she became ‘suicidal’ and had to flee the country following the incident after facing a large outpouring of hate on the internet.

Cooper has since written a book for DC Comics titled It’s A Bird, the first part of the company’s digital anthology series titled Represent, according to Open Culture.

The comic has a similar storyline as Cooper’s meeting Amy, but takes place in a suburban area rather than Central Park’s Ramble. The main character Jules encounters a white woman with her off-leash dog in the story.

Cooper also has roots in Marvel and was the company’s first openly gay writer and editor.

National Geographic did not say when Extraordinary Birder would be released.

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