Star Trek: Discovery Writer Mosley Quits After Being Chastised for Using the N-Word

Acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley has claimed he quit a Hollywood writers’ room because he was chastised for using the “N-word”, and sources claim that he was talking about Star Trek: Discovery.

The Hollywood Reporter brings us the story from over the weekend that Mosley, known for his Easy Rawlins series of books, including Devil in a Blue Dress, wrote about the incident in an op-ed for The New York Times. According to the piece, “Although Mosley, who is black, did not reveal which show he departed, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that it was CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery.”

Mosley, in his op-ed, explained that he didn’t call anyone the N-word, but that he was relating what a Los Angeles cop had told him. Afterwards, he said, he received a call from the HR department, who said that while he could use the word in a script, he “could not say it”. The Hollywood Reporter says that “sources note that HR called Mosley to inform [him] that typical use of that word was a fireable offense but there was to be no course of action taken against him. Instead, [they said] that a writer in the room was uncomfortable with it and effectively wanted to ensure he was aware of the studio's policy.”

Mosley said that the call led him to resign. He explained, "I was in a writers’ room trying to be creative while at the same time being surveilled by unknown critics who would snitch on me to a disembodied voice over the phone. My every word would be scrutinized. Sooner or later I’d be fired or worse — silenced."

In response to the op-ed, and appearing to confirm the claim that the show in question was Discovery, CBS TV Studios provided The Hollywood Reporter with the following statement: “We have the greatest admiration for Mr. Mosley’s writing talents and were excited to have him join Star Trek: Discovery. While we cannot comment on the specifics of confidential employee matters, we are committed to supporting a workplace where employees feel free to express concerns and where they feel comfortable performing their best work. We wish Mr. Mosley much continued success." Mosley had been on the writing staff for Discovery for just three weeks.

Mosley is not listed on IMDb with any Star Trek credits. As for Star Trek: Discovery season three, it’s still currently in production and expected to premier sometime next year.

This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Alison Pitt is the writer, producer, and host of Daily Star Trek News, on the Roddenberry Podcast Network. A veteran Star Trek podcaster, she started her career on the weekly show Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast in 2015. She has appeared on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas, WonderCon, and San Diego Comic Con.

Alison Pitt