Christian Cooper, the Black birdwatcher who was harassed by a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 2020, will soon host his own TV show on National Geographic. The network made the announcement this week, saying the lifelong bird-watcher will host Extraordinary Birder, a series which will take viewers into the “wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds.”
“Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above,” National Geographic said in a statement.
Cooper found himself in a high-profile case in May 2020 when Amy Cooper called the police on the birdwatcher, falsely saying he threatened her and her dog at the park.
Cooper recorded the white woman as she spoke to 911 dispatchers, saying “I’m in the Ramble. And there is a man, African American — he has a bicycle helmet. He’s recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
The woman was charged with a third-degree misdemeanor after making the false claim, NPR reports. However, The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said the charge was dropped after Cooper completed five restorative justice sessions.
Speaking with The New York Times, Cooper said his love for bird-watching began at age 10. The 59-year-old said he “was all in” when National Geographic approached him about hosting a TV show nearly a year and a half ago.
The premier date for Extraordinary Birder hasn’t yet been announced.