Kelly Wright Accuses Fox News Of Racial Discrimination In A New Lawsuit
In another controversy for the embattled news network, Fox News' Kelly Wright is joining the discrimination lawsuit against it. Wright, who is African-American, alleged that he endured racial discrimination from executives at the network, where he has worked as an anchor since 2003. The network firmly denies the accusations.
On Tuesday via a spokesperson, Fox News strongly denied the claims made the class-action lawsuit as well as another related lawsuit:
FOX News and Dianne Brandi vehemently deny the race discrimination claims in both lawsuits. They are copycat complaints of the original one filed last month. We will vigorously defend these cases.
The racial discrimination lawsuit against Fox News originally came to fruition in March, when two African American Fox News employees alleged that Judith Slater, Fox's former comptroller, engaged in racial discrimination against them. Since then, the now-class-action lawsuit has grown to 13 plaintiffs as of Tuesday, all of whom, according to CNN, are people of color and former or current employees of Fox News.
The suit alleges that the plaintiffs experienced racial discrimination and harassment at the workplace, and according to Deadline Hollywood, it has listed Fox News Network, 21st Century Fox, Inc., Judith Slater, and Executive Vice President for Business and Legal Affairs Dianne Brandi as defendants. Brandi denies the accusations, as stated in Fox News' spokesperson's statement.
Recent attention has particularly centered around Wright joining the class-action lawsuit. He has been with the network for over ten years and regularly anchored Saturday’s America’s News HQ. He has also won two local Emmys for his work as a journalist. In joining the class-action suit, Wright alleged that he “has been effectively sidelined [by the network] and asked to perform the role of a ‘Jim Crow’ — the racist caricature of a Black entertainer.”
Wright also expressed particular grievances against Fox News Co-President Bill Shine, alleging that Shine "...demonstrated an obsession with race when it comes to discussions with Mr. Wright" and "regularly asked him, ‘how do Black people react to you’ and ‘how do you think White viewers look at you?’" Wright further alleged that Fox News thwarted his efforts to anchor stories that featured positive stories about the black community, alleging that the network told him that these stories, “showed Blacks in ‘too positive’ a light.”
Overall, between Bill O'Reilly's forced exit last week and new discrimination allegations this week, it is clear that this has been a controversial and trying time for Fox News, to say the least.