The Fox News Channel’s legal problems don’t appear to have been quelled by the firing of Bill O’Reilly. The New York Times reports that the cable channel has been hit with a new class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.
The suit filed in New York by 11 current and former employees of Fox News accuses the network of “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination.”
“The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, expands a complaint filed at the end of March by Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, two black women who worked in the Fox News payroll department,” The Times reports. “In particular, the suit contends that Judith Slater, the company’s longtime comptroller, engaged in racist behavior and made racist remarks and that senior executives ignored her actions. A third Fox News employee, Monica Douglas, joined the lawsuit earlier this month. Fox News fired Ms. Slater in February.”
In a statement, Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne M. Christensen, attorneys for the plaintiffs, said: “When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox. We sincerely hope the filing of this race class action wakes 21st Century Fox from its slumbers and inspires the company to take a conciliatory and appropriate approach to remedy its wrongs.”
The report adds: “Another former Fox News employee, Adasa Blanco, filed a separate racial discrimination lawsuit on Tuesday against Fox News, Ms. Slater and Dianne Brandi, the top lawyer at Fox News, in federal court in the Southern District of New York.
“The lawsuits contend that Fox News employees repeatedly complained about racial discrimination to current network executives but that no action was taken and that the inappropriate behavior continued.”
Catherine M. Foti, a lawyer for Slater, released a statement calling the lawsuits “meritless and frivolous,” and adding: ”All claims of racial discrimination against Ms. Slater are completely false.”