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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fox News hit with racial discrimination lawsuit

(Photo: Getty Images, Andy Kropa)
(Photo: Getty Images, Andy Kropa)

It turns out that firing Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes didn’t magically fix all of Fox News’ problems, as Variety is reporting that eleven current and former employees of the network have filed a class-action racial discrimination suit against Fox News. The suit accuses Fox News of “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful, and hostile racial discrimination,” and it’s an extension of a suit that was previously filed in March by two women who used to work in the network’s payroll department and claim that longtime network comptroller Judith Slater “engaged in racist behavior that was routinely overlooked” by executives.


The suit goes on to say that Fox News’ treatment of minority employees was “more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment,” and the plaintiffs say that they couldn’t go to human resources because the ones being the most overtly racist—specifically Slater and O’Reilly—supposedly “knew too much” about network executives like Ailes. As for what this racism entailed, a separate Variety story has collected the “10 most offensive claims” in the lawsuit, and it includes stuff like:

The suit claims Slater regularly and mockingly rubbed Douglas’s hair in order to feel its “texture.” Douglas is African-American.

The documents contend that Slater mocked plaintiff Musfiq Rahman, who is Bangladeshi and spoke with an accent, to the point of tears. Right after 9/11, Rahman mistakenly walked into then-Fox News head Roger Ailes’s office, said the suit. Ailes was so paranoid about terrorist attacks that he immediately requested a wall be constructed in his office. According to the suit, the wall was “an obvious attempt at preventing black or dark-skinned employees from walking in unannounced and frightening Ailes.”

Plaintiffs Tichoana Brown and Tabrese Wright, who are African-American, said Slater asked them why all black men beat their wives.

Slater allegedly asked Wright if all three of her children were fathered by the same man.

Adasa Blanco, another Fox News employee, also filed a similar lawsuit of her own this week against the network and Slater.

Fox News, for the record, has released a statement on behalf of the network and Dianne Brandi, the Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs named as a defendant in the suit: “FOX News and Dianne Brandi 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.”