Fox News is off to a rough start this week. First, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly faced backlash for an offensive remark he made towards congresswoman Maxine Waters. And now, the news outlet has been hit with a racial discrimination lawsuit.
This past Tuesday night, two black women filed a federal lawsuit in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, claiming that they were subjected to “top-down racial harassment” in the Fox News payroll department from longtime comptroller Judith Slater.
The women — Tichaona Brown, a payroll manager at the company, and Tabrese Wright, a payroll coordinator — allege that Slater made multiple racially charged comments at them and other black employees on various occasions, saying that they mispronounced words such as “mother,” “father,” “month” and “ask,” as well as saying that black men were “women beaters” and that black people wanted to physically hurt white people.
The lawsuit named Slater, Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox as defendants.
“We are confident that the good men and women of the Bronx will hold Fox accountable for what we believe to be its abhorrent racist conduct, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era,” Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen of the Wigdor law firm, who are representing the two women, said in a statement.
However, Fox claims that it acted immediately upon learning about the claims against Slater, which resulted in her firing on February 28.
“We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action before Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright sued in court and even before Ms. Wright complained through her lawyer,” the company said in a statement. “There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.”