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Fox News hit with racial discrimination and harassment lawsuit from 13 employees

Fox News anchor Kelly Wright joined a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against the network. (Image Source: YouTube screen cap)

The Fox News network is facing new harassment charges, but this time they're racially based. Anchor Kelly Wright joined a lawsuit against the network by current and former employees alleging racial harassment and discrimination.

Wright, the only black male anchor on Fox News, held a news conference with his lawyer Doug Wigdor about the allegations he was making.

"This hurts," he began. "This hurts."

"I am here reluctantly because I prefer sitting behind an anchor desk delivering news," Wright said, "to you the viewer, reporting, delivering the news to help provide you with information, insight, and some analysis about developments and issues that we face every day in this country and globally.

"I am here reluctantly because I am not against any man or woman at Fox News," he explained. "The truth is I admire, I like, and even love the people who I work with and for. But I don't like what they do.

"The people that I work with at Fox News," he continued, "my colleagues and those you see behind me are hard-working individuals who work tirelessly every day to do their best, give their best and be their best, and I am proud of their accomplishments. Let me make something very plain here. I, and the people you see with me, do not have any incentive from some left-wing conspiratory group or some left-wing financier to try to destroy Fox News.

"The truth is," he continued, "I believe Fox News will continue to grow and prosper regardless of any attempt by anyone to crush it. I believe that Fox will remain strong because there are millions of people who support the company in spirit and in trust.

"But when that trust is broken with various employees because of racial bias, something has to be done," Wright concluded. "As I have stated, I'm like the men and women of Fox News — that's why I'm here."

Wigdor, Wright's lawyer, also addressed the media to recount some of the charges from his client.

"Mr. O'Reilly would not permit Mr. Wright to come on his show to discuss how America could focus on achieving racial reconciliation in the midst of growing racial hostility," Wigdor said.

"Instead, Mr. O'Reilly told Mr. Wright that he should call up Roger Ailes and Bill Shine and offer to sing the national anthem at the Fox News town hall," he continued. "Rather than viewing Mr. Wright as the two-time Emmy award recipient he is, Mr. O'Reilly saw Mr. Wright as a singing entertainer.

"And when Mr. O'Reilly asked Mr. Wright to appear on his show to discuss the racial divide in Ferguson, Missouri," he said,  "and [he] suggested showing "Beyond the Dream," a series about positive stories about the African American community, Mr. O'Reilly refused because it showed blacks in too positive a light, declaring that he, Mr. O'Reilly, knew black America better than anyone."

A spokesperson for Fox News strongly denied the claims of both Wright's lawsuit and the previous lawsuit he joined, saying, "Fox News and [executive  VP] 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."

Attorneys for the 13 plaintiffs against Fox News described the network as, "operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox."

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