Show featuring Black birder at center of false report in NYC to debut

Christian Cooper has turned an unfortunate incident in New York City’s Central Park into an opportunity to share his love of birdwatching. 

“Extraordinary Birder with Christian Cooper” will debut on Nat Geo Wild on June 17.

The show takes viewers on a journey with Cooper, a lifelong birder, across the U.S.

“Wild birds connect you to the natural world, and they remind you that we are part of this whole process too,” Cooper said in an interview with PEOPLE.

Many viewers may recognize Cooper from a viral video of a woman yelling at him in 2020. 

He was birdwatching in Central Park when he asked the woman to leash her dog. The woman is then seen on video calling police, saying an African American man was threatening her. 

She was eventually charged with making a false report. The charges were dropped after she completed a racial bias course. 

Christian wrote an Op-Ed for the Washington Post, saying he was not in favor of charging the woman. While he believes the interaction displayed a “long-standing, deep-seated racial bias” that’s present in the country, he insisted that he suffered no real harm. He added that the woman had already lost her job and damaged her reputation.