A spokesperson for the Fox News Channel said today that the network has terminated on-air personality Bob Beckel “for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.” CNN reports that the network was not providing details and Beckel was not immediately available to comment.
Beckel was one of the co-hosts of FNC’s “The Five,” which was recently moved to the 9 p.m. slot as part of a realignment of the cable net’s prime-time lineup in the wake of the ouster of Bill O’Reilly. It was not immediately known who would be replacing Beckel on “The Five.”
“Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, lawyers handling a growing racial discrimination lawsuit filed by current and former Fox employees, said in a joint statement that Beckel told one of their clients, a black IT worker, that he was leaving the office while the employee serviced his computer because the employee is black,” CNN reports. “When the IT worker filed a complaint, Beckel attempted to intimidate him to withdraw it, Wigdor and Christensen said.”
The report quotes the statement from Wigdor and Christensen saying: “As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week.”
A spokesperson for Fox News is quoted saying in a statement that the network “made the decision to terminate Mr. Beckel after a prompt and thorough investigation.”
The spokesperson added: “No one tried to persuade Mr. Wigdor’s client to withdraw his complaint.”