At Time Inc., a ‘Chilling Effect on Religious Speech’?

As the fallout from Time Inc. CEO Jack Griffin’s ouster continues, Bill Donohue, the outspoken president of the Catholic League, is warning about a “chilling effect on religious speech” following press reports that Griffin made people uneasy by referring to his Roman Catholic faith.
 
“It is always disturbing to learn of attempts to stifle religious speech in the workplace,” Donohue said after being asked by Adweek to comment on the reports. “Now if the speech becomes disruptive even to people of faith, that is one thing. It is quite another when secularists object but people of faith do not. While it cannot be said with certainty which of the two conditions was operative in the case of Jack Griffin, it behooves everyone involved to make certain that a chilling effect on religious speech does not take root at Time and Time Warner.”
 
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said he fired Griffin because he decided his leadership style didn’t mesh with the company. In the wake of his exit, reports said Griffin referred to his faith during meetings and at one point compared Time Inc. to the Vatican. A source close to Griffin said the only time he mentioned Roman Catholicism was in calling Time Inc. the “Vatican of publishing,” a comment meant as a reference to the publishing company’s stature.