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Disney fires high-level ABC News exec after she reportedly made racist remarks about black employees


Not a good look

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Disney fired top ABC News executive Barbara Fedida after she reportedly made racist remarks about the company's black employees earlier in the year.

The company placed Fedida on administrative leave in June pending an investigation into reports that Fedida had a lengthy history of making racially insensitive remarks, was difficult, and was hard on employees.

While employed by the company, Fedida was senior vice president of talent, editorial strategy, and business affairs for the network.

What are the details?

On Monday, Walt Disney Television Chairman and Disney Media Networks co-chairman Peter Rice announced Fedida's departure.

In a memo, Rice said, "The investigation substantiated that Ms. Fedida did make some of the unacceptable racially insensitive comments attributed to her. It also substantiated that Ms. Fedida managed in a rough manner, and, on occasion, used crass and inappropriate language."

"Lastly," Rice's memo added, "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."

The memo concluded, "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 reportedly made remarks about "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts' contract renewal in 2018, asking "what more Roberts could want and said it wasn't as if the network was asking Roberts to 'pick cotton.'"

Fedida also reportedly said that Sunny Hostin — co-host on "The View" — was "low rent."

Last month, former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien tweeted in response to the reports, said that a "CNN exec" engaged in offensive behaviors, and insisted that exec would only book the "right kind" of black people on O'Brien's show.

You can read more on the allegations against Fedida in a lengthy report here.

A June statement from Fedida said:

Throughout my career, I have been a champion for increased diversity in network news. Building a news division where everyone can thrive has been my life's mission. I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting and promoting talented journalists of color. And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable.
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