Franklin Resources Inc. won’t face discrimination and defamation claims from a woman it fired after a video of her calling the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park went viral.

The federal appeals court in New York declined to revive a lawsuit by Amy Cooper, who was fired as head of insurance investment after she became famous as the “Central Park Karen” in a confrontation with the birdwatcher while she was walking her dog. Cooper claimed she was illegally fired and falsely characterized as a racist.

Franklin Resources does business as Franklin Templeton.

A three-judge panel of the court rejected her appeal on Thursday, agreeing with a lower-court judge that the asset manager didn’t fire her on the basis of race. Cooper “fails to allege facts giving rise to even a minimal inference of discriminatory motivation with respect to her termination,” the court said in a written opinion. 

The panel also agreed that any statements from Franklin were protected opinion based on the widely viewed video of her encounter with the birdwatcher, Christian Cooper, who is unrelated to her.

The court telegraphed last month that it was unlikely to revive the case, in skeptical questioning of her lawyer when the appeal was argued in Manhattan. 

U.S. Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker at one point suggested Cooper had “geared it up” by mentioning the birdwatcher’s race in her 911 call claiming he was threatening her. 

“She pressed the red button, didn’t she?” Parker said.

The case is Cooper v. Franklin Templeton Investments, 22-02763, 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals (Manhattan).

--With assistance from Annelise Gilbert and Chris Dolmetsch.