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10 Most Offensive Claims in Latest Fox News Discrimination Lawsuit

Variety logo Variety 4/26/2017 Lawrence Yee
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Eleven current and former Fox News employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the network on Tuesday, accusing it of “unlawful and hostile racial discrimination.”

Among those named in the lawsuit are Judith Slater, who was fired last month as Fox News comptroller after nearly 20 years employment at the network.

“We take any complaint of this nature very seriously and took the appropriate action in investigating and firing Ms. Slater within two weeks of this being brought to our attention,” said Fox News in a statement at the time. “There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News.”

The 82-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday, featured a litany of complaints by employees against Slater and other defendants — Dianne Brandi, Fox News, and 21st Century Fox. One plaintiff, Monica Douglas, said Slater warned her against complaining about any discriminatory conduct, allegedly saying, “Do not bother going to HR about Slater — I am HR.”

Among the more horrific allegations:

1. Slater allegedly said to Douglas, a breast cancer survivor, “your boobs look like they are different sizes – oh, that’s right, you only have one boob.”

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

3. Slater allegedly ridiculed Black employees by mocking stereotyped speech and complained, for example, that Black employees mispronounce the words “mother,” “father,” “month,” and “ask,” by pronouncing the words as “muva,” “fava,” “monf,” and “axe.”

4. 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’ 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.”

5. In addition to the wall, employees of color allegedly had their access to the floor repealed and had to be escorted.

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

7. Brown and Wright claimed Slater called her commuter train to New Jersey the “Bombay Express” given the racial make up of its patrons and the sizable Indian population in the area.

8. Brown and Wright claimed Slater talked openly about all Chinese men having “small penises.”

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

10. Slater allegedly called day laborers “cheap Mexicans.”

“Fox News and Dianne Brandi vehemently deny the race discrimination claims in both lawsuits,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “They are copycat complaints of the original one filed last month. We will vigorously defend these cases.”

“These are meritless and frivolous lawsuits and all claims of racial discrimination against Ms. Slater are completely false. We have yet to see the alleged additions to the original lawsuit. Given how outrageous and offensive these suits are, it’s incomprehensible to imagine how anyone has joined or would join these legal actions,” said Catherine M. Foti, attorney for Judith Slater, and a Principal of Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Anello P.C via statement to Variety.

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