Christopher Cukor is the Head of Smart TV Partnerships at YouTube. Recently, in an incident in his apartment complex, he ended up calling police on an African American black man, and the incident has had a negative outcome.
A man, known by the name of Wesly Michael, a black man, African American by descent, was entering their apartment complex when Cukor was leaving through the locked front door with his son. Upon asking, Michael replied that he was there to see a friend who lived in the apartment. The problem arose when Cukor asked him to make a call to his friends’ through the apartment call box in order to make sure that he was genuine.
Michael refused from doing this and thus gave rise to Cukor’s suspicion. This led to Cukor calling the police authorities to complain about an African-American black man trespassing against their apartment complex.
The man, Michael, warned him that he was filming the entire scene and that he would make sure it comes on the TV, saying that he also has with him his son at the time. Cukor’s son constantly requested his father to let it go and not call the police and the man also told Cukor to follow the advice of his son. The series continued till Michael’s friend, Kathy, appeared.
Interpretation Of What Happened
Many people are interpreting the event to be another of such which discriminates on the basis of religion or race. There have been more such incidences in the past and these people are demanding from his employer YouTube to fire him.
Response From Christopher Cukor
Cukor has responded while writing and penning down his side of the story in the Medium. In the piece, he talked about a similar incident happening with his father, Peter Cukor, years ago when a trespasser murdered him. The year was 2012. He has said that it was because of the past that he had seen, he felt it was important to confront the person, for the safety of his son, himself and everyone else.
Apart from this, he also maintained that in the recent times there have been a lot of trespassers in the area and that he has also faced quite a number of burglaries. Therefore, this was also one of the reasons for him to confront the man.
The Tragedy Of Christopher Cukor
Christopher Cukor was returning to his home Park Hills with his wife Andrea at around 8:45 in the evening. It was then that they spotted a man, named DeWitt, then aged 23, who was moving around their place that time. Christopher Cukor took responsibility and called the Police Department to report a trespasser. A while later, Cukor left the house to walk to the nearby fire station in order to report the trespasser but could not find any firefighters there. Upon returning back home and facing DeWitt, he asked him to immediately leave, to which he responded violently by hitting Cukor over the head with a flower pot. His wife immediately called the police who came rushing within a few minutes. After some time, they also tracked down and caught DeWitt. DeWitt was a mentally unstable person since 18 years of age and had been in and out of mental institutions.
The event led to criticism from the people for two things. One, the unreliable state of the treatment of mentally ill people and two, the irresponsible behaviour on the part of the police. DeWitt is now serving his 33 years in Napa State Hospital.
Christopher Cukor Apology
Christopher Cukor has taken to apologise to Michael through his article. He has said that he is sorry for his actions making Wesly feel targeted due to his race. He has also said that he did not have any intention to hurt Wesly’s self-respect. And, also that his actions were not at all in accordance with the race of any person whatsoever, he acted so just because of his unique past and wanted to ensure safety of himself, his son and the neighbourhood.