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The senior ABC News exec who was placed on administrative leave last month over claims she often made racist remarks about Black staffers, has been fired.
An internal investigation “substantiated” that Barbara Fedida made “some of the unacceptable racially insensitive comments attributed to her,” Peter Rice, chairman of ABC News parent Walt Disney Television, said in a company memo, NBC News reported.
“It also substantiated that Ms. Fedida managed in a rough manner and, on occasion, used crass and inappropriate language,” Rice continued. “Lastly, the investigation found no basis for the claims that Ms. Fedida was the subject of dozens of HR complaints and that ABC News spent millions of dollars in confidential settlements related to Ms. Fedida, as alleged in some press accounts.”
Rice also noted, “Although Ms. Fedida made contributions to the organization over the 20-year span of her career, in light of the overall findings, we have determined that she can no longer serve in a leadership role and will not be returning to ABC News.”
Fedida, who served as senior vice president, talent and business at the network, had been placed on administrative leave after a report from Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali, outlined the accusations of racism and her treatment of Black journalists at the network.
Ali’s article cited interviews with 34 sources over six months, including current and former ABC News staff and talent.
Here’s more from Urban Hollywood 411.com:
Among the claims raised in the report, Fedida was sitting with colleagues in 2018 when she complained about Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts asking for more money during contract negotiations. Fedida reportedly asked others what more Roberts, who is African American, could want and said it wasn’t as if the network was asking her to “pick cotton.”
Fedida was additionally accused of trying to block diversity and inclusion efforts that were part of her job description.
“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin previously responded on the daytime show to the racist comments that were made about her by Fedida, noting that she was deeply “disappointed and saddened” by the comments (see clip above).
In response to her firing, the National Association of Black Journalists released the following statement: “The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased that Disney/ABC News has taken decisive action by firing top ABC News executive Barbara Fedida, after substantiating allegations of racially insensitive comments made by her. The actions of Fedida are uncalled for, and points to the kind of barriers Black journalists face in advancing in newsrooms across the country.”
NABJ called on the company to hire “an outside consultant to assess the culture and work environment and policies at ABC News.”