Two Fox News employees are suing the network for racial discrimination by two employees who accuse the network of turning a blind eye while an executive created a racially hostile work environment.
The complaint states, “As described herein, Plaintiffs and other dark-skinned employees suffered years-long relentless racial animus at the hands of their white supervisor, Slater, an eighteen-year employee and former Senior Vice President (“SVP”) of Accounting and Controller of Fox. Despite being well aware of Slater’s racist conduct, executives at Fox did nothing to put an end to it and intentionally turned a blind eye. For years, Fox permitted Slater to subject Plaintiffs and other dark-skinned employees to a racially hostile work environment without fear of punishment or reprisal, and refused to terminate Slater for her conduct or, upon information and belief, even reprimand her in any way.”
A day after Bill O’Reilly made a racist joke on the air about Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) the network is being sued by two employees for racial discrimination. Coming off of the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal, the last thing the sagging cable news ratings leader needed was more legal problems and another scandal that in many minds will confirm the long-held suspicion that what was said on the air is a part of a company culture that is hostile to minorities and women.
The complaint accuses Fox of only firing the executive to avoid a PR scandal, “To be clear, Ms. Slater was not terminated because she engaged in discriminatory conduct – Fox was willing to let her get away with that for years. Rather, Slater was terminated because Fox knew this would become a public matter and wanted to salvage its reputation.”
Fox News is struggling. The loss of Megyn Kelly has clearly hurt the network, and the unpopularity of Donald Trump has shrunk Fox’s audience down to its core. For the first time, MSNBC is mounting a real challenge to Fox, as the hottest host on prime time cable news is Rachel Maddow, not Bill O’Reilly.
The ratings leader that looked unbeatable is beginning to be regularly beaten, as problems in the network’s culture look to be causing it to rot from within.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association