By: Richard Prince, "Journal-isms"

Richard Prince, "Journal-isms"
“Fox News’ legal troubles grew even larger Tuesday (April 25) with new plaintiffs, including an anchor, joining a suit alleging racial discrimination and harassment at the network,” Tom Kludt reported for CNNMoney.

“The suit is now headlined by Kelly Wright, a black reporter and anchor who has been with Fox News since 2003. Wright claims that he ‘has been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a “Jim Crow” — the racist caricature of a Black entertainer.’ “Wright’s allegations involve, among others, recently fired Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and current network co-president Bill Shine.

“The suit claims that Wright was shunned from O’Reilly’s now-canceled program, ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ and that Shine ‘has demonstrated an obsession with race when it comes to discussions with Mr. Wright, including regularly asking him, “how do Black people react to you” and “how do you think White viewers look at you?” ‘
“In one alleged example, Wright claims that he was rebuffed in his efforts to show a series of positive stories about the African-American community on the ‘Factor’ because, according to the complaint, ‘it showed Blacks in “too positive” a light.’

“Wright is one of 13 plaintiffs, all people of color who are either current or former Fox News employees, to sue the network in the last month charging racial discrimination. . . .”

Victoria Bekiempis, with Nicole Hensley, added for the Daily News in New York, “Last year, Wright pitched a morning show on ‘positive stories about the African-American community and its contributions to the world’ that would have aired before ‘Fox & Friends.’

“The network went with the idea, but ‘rather than allowing Mr. Wright to host the show, Fox has given that job to another of Mr. Wright’s White colleagues.’

“When Wright asked why he wasn’t given the position, execs told him they wanted a face from Fox and Friends — even though he had been on the show until his discriminatory removal in 2008, the suit contends.

“In a statement, a Fox rep said the channel and company brass ‘vehemently deny the race discrimination claims in both lawsuits. They are copycat complaints of the original one filed last month. We will vigorously defend these cases.’ . . .”

By: Richard Prince, "Journal-isms"

“According to sources, seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial-discrimination suit filed last month by two colleagues,” Gabriel Sherman reported Sunday for New York magazine.

“The original lawsuit alleged that Fox News’ longtime comptroller, Judy Slater, subjected members of Fox’s payroll staff to racial insults for years. (Fox News fired Slater in February after those employees began litigation against the network).

“Lawyers representing the payroll employees are demanding that Fox’s accounting director, Tammy Efinger, also be removed from supervising an employee because she allegedly participated in Slater’s racist behavior.

In a letter to the network’s lawyers obtained by New York, the attorneys state: ‘Not once did Ms. Efinger step in or attempt to interfere with Ms. Slater’s outrageous conduct.’ The letter adds, instead, ‘Ms. Efinger chose to laugh or giggle following Ms. Slater’s vitriol.’

“The letter also includes new allegations of racism in Fox News’ accounting department. According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Slater demanded that black female employees hold ‘arm wrestling matches’ with white female employees in her office, just down the hall from Ailes’s office on the second floor of Fox headquarters.

“ 'Forcing a black woman employee to “fight” for the amusement and pleasure of her white superiors is horrifying.
This highly offensive and humiliating act is reminiscent of Jim Crow era battle royals,’ the letter says, referring to the practice of paying black men to fight blindfolded at carnivals for white spectators’ entertainment. The lawyers argue that Efinger bragged about wanting to ‘fight’ a black employee.

“The new claims, if true, reveal not just the failures of the legal and HR departments to deal with problematic managers but also just how deep the culture of discrimination and harassment may have run” during the reign of Fox News founder and CEO Roger Ailes, who was forced out last summer amid sexual harassment allegations.

“Reached for comment, an attorney representing the employees, Jeanne Christensen, said, ‘There will be more complaints forthcoming in the next few days.’ . . .”

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