HASH(0x292d064)

Lawsuit filed against Fox alleges racial discrimination

Lawsuit filed against Fox alleges racial discrimination

NEW YORK — An expanded lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Fox News Channel of racial discrimination “that appears more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment.”

The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court, adds eight former and current Fox employees to a case involving three former Fox workers and their accusations against a since-fired Fox financial executive. It also expands the case to include Dianne Brandi, Fox’s chief counsel.

Fox News said it vehemently denies the allegations, calling them “copycat complaints.” It said Brandi denies the claims against her.

The original lawsuit was filed in late March by two black women who worked in the network’s payroll department, and a third colleague later joined it. The expanded lawsuit, incorporating the other employees, seeks unspecified compensatory damages and an elimination of unlawful employment practices at Fox.

The workers allege that their complaints about the actions of Judith Slater, the fired former comptroller, went unanswered for years. They say Brandi told them it was because Slater “knew too much” about former Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and top-rated host Bill O’Reilly, who have been ousted over the past year because of sexual-harassment accusations.

A lawyer for Slater, Catherine Foti, said the actions against Slater are meritless and frivolous. She said “all claims of racial discrimination against Ms. Slater are completely false.”

One plaintiff, on-air personality Kelly Wright, who’s black, said he’d been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a Jim Crow, an insulting slang term to refer to a black man, according to the lawsuit. Wright said O’Reilly, who’s white, refused to show a piece Wright had prepared after racial protests in Ferguson, Missouri, because they showed blacks in too positive a light.

A former employee, Musfiq Rahman, a dark-skinned Bangladeshi, said he was punished after mistakenly walking into Ailes’ office by no longer being allowed on Ailes’ floor without an escort.

Mark LeGrier, a former financial employee who’s black, said he was subjected to retaliation when he complained to Brandi about Slater’s behaviour.

“When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox,” said Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, Nielsen company ratings showed that Tucker Carlson moved into O’Reilly’s old time slot at Fox News on Monday night and took over his status as the most-watched host in cable news — at least for a night.

O’Reilly, who hosted “The O’Reilly Factor,” was fired by Fox last week following news about Fox settling sexual-harassment cases involving him for millions of dollars. He has denied the allegations.

Nielsen said Carlson’s first night at 8 p.m. attracted 3.17 million viewers, beating the combined audience of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who reached 1.52 million viewers, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who reached 1 million.

Carlson did not beat O’Reilly’s nearly 4 million average during the first three months of the year. Carlson had averaged 3.3 million in the 9 p.m. time slot following O’Reilly.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Parksville family climbs highest mountain peak in North America

A father and two sons reached the summit of Denali after 12 days of hiking

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Town of Qualicum Beach adopts OCP

Council unanimously votes in favour of document; criticizes process

Morningstar has new general manager

Randy LaRoche has been hired as the new general manager of Morningtar… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read