It was almost exactly one year ago that former Marvel Comics writer and editor Christian Cooper, and writer/director Melody Cooper were accosted in Central Park while birdwatching by one Amy Cooper (no relation). Christian had asked Amy to leash her dog in accordance with local restrictions. In response, Amy Cooper called the police, telling them she was being threatened by an African-American. Melody filmed the incident which went viral online, in the same week that George Floyd was murdered by police. Amy was later sentenced to community service for making a false 911 call, and completed a counseling program intended to educate her on the harm of her actions.
Amy Cooper is now seeing her ex-employer, Franklin Templeton, for racial discrimination, the complaint made exactly a year after the incident. The company stated this happened immediately following an"internal review of the incident and that they don't tolerate racism of any kind. However, the lawsuit alleged that Amy Cooper was "characterized as a privileged white female 'Karen'" due to the company's public statements and alleges that the company did not perform an investigation into the incident, as publicly stated. "Even a perfunctory investigation would have shown that Plaintiff did not shout at Christian Cooper or call the police from Central Park on May 25, 2020 because she was a racist — she did these things because she was alone in the park and frightened to death after being selected as the next target of Christian Cooper, an overzealous birdwatcher engaged in Central Park's ongoing feud between birdwatchers and dog owners" and that the company "perpetuated and legitimized the story of 'Karen' vs. an innocent African American to its perceived advantage, with reckless disregard for the destruction of Plaintiff's life in the process" and charges that the company would not have fired her if she were a different race and gender.
At the time, Christian Cooper accepted an apology from Amy Cooper but said the incident was part of a much deeper problem of racism in the United States that must be addressed. Since then, Christian Cooper turned his experience into a comic book for DC Comics, It's A Bird drawn by Alitha Martinez. Melody Cooper continued to write the Omni comic from Humanoids and worked as a Story Editor on Law & Order: SVU.