Birdwatcher targeted by racist ‘Central Park Karen’ lands his own National Geographic show

Series has not been giving a date

Gino Spocchia
Saturday 21 May 2022 18:58
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<p>Christian Cooper at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, CA</p>

Christian Cooper at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, CA

The Black birdwatcher who made headlines in 2020 over a confrontation with a white woman in Central Park has now landed his own TV show.

Christian Cooper will soon appear on National Geographic as a presenter for the birdwatching series Extraordinary Birder, the channel announced this week.

While no launch date has been set, the programme will allegedly take viewers “into the wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds,” the channel said.

“Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon,” the statement continued. “He does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above”.

In May 2022, Mr Cooper famously called out a white woman for walking her dog in a protected area of New York’s biggest park, where he was bird watching.

Amy Cooper (not related), dubbed “Central Park Karen” after she was filmed threatening to call the police on Mr Cooper. She was later charged with filing a false police report, before the charges were dropped last year.

“I don’t think there’s an African American person in America who hasn’t experienced something like this at some point,” Mr Cooper told The Washington Post  at the time.

The confrontation occurred on the same day George Floyd, another Black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis. The killing ignited demonstrations against police brutality across the US.

Ms Cooper has since completed racial bias training, which her therapist reportedly told a court last year was “a moving experience” for the woman, who was fired by her employer. She later accused her former employer in court of racial discrimination.

Social media users celebrated the National Geographic announcement with one person saying: “This is good karma.”

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