Christian Cooper is a writer, and editor based in New York City. He has worked for Marvel Comics as a writer and an editor, writing Marvel comics Presents Stories, the Darkhold series for over a year, a run on Excalibur and edited a number of X-Men collections. In Star Trek fandom he is also notable for writing the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy comic for a few years, co-creating the first openly gay Star Trek character, Yoshi Mishima. Cooper is currently a senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications, But he is in the news for very different reasons.
He was also president of the Harvard Ornithological Club in the 1980s and remains an avid bird-watcher. Yesterday, he was birdwatching in Central Park with his sister, Melody Cooper, writer of the Omni comic from Humanoids. Christian Cooper asked a woman to leash her dog in an area of the park, where pets must be kept under control. He also filmed the encounter.
On the video, the woman, identified as Amy Cooper (no relation), a VP at Franklin Templeton Investments (FTI), refused, tells Christian to stop filming her and her dog and threatens that she will call the police to tell them that an African-American is threatening her. She then proceeds to do just that when Christian does not stop filming. He is, indeed, black.
Christian kept filming, stopping when Amy leashed her dog, and said 'thank you' In the aftermath of the incident going viral on social media, Amy Cooper voluntarily surrendered the dog to a shelter, and was put on administrative leave by FTI. In a statement to NBC New York, Amy Cooper said, "I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family. It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who's seen that video, everyone that's been offended…everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do."
Here is the Facebook post and video, currently with thousands of replies.