ABC News exec put on leave over comments about Robin Roberts, other Black colleagues
Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC's "Good Morning America", was allegedly the subject of racist statements by Barbara Fedida, executive director of ABC News. (Donna Svennevik / Associated Press)
A ABC News executive was taken on administrative leave after a report using racist language in discussions of on-air talent in the network.
The Walt Disney Co., owned by ABC, is investigating the behavior of Barbara Fedida, senior vice president of talent, editorial strategy, and business development for the news department, according to a HuffPost report that described a long history of Fedida in the Abusive Comments were given off at work.
"There are deeply troubling allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we've put Barbara Fedida on vacation while we're doing a thorough and thorough investigation," a representative from ABC News said in a statement on the values and the statement on Saturday ABC News culture where we strive to ensure that everyone feels respected in a thriving, diverse and inclusive workplace. "
Fedida is de facto number two on ABC News under its President James Goldston. She has played an important role in the development and recruitment of on-air talent in the network that offers "Good Morning America" and "ABC World News Tonight", the most watched TV programs for morning and evening news.
The HuffPost story, based on interviews with more than two dozen anonymous sources, contains comments that Fedida is said to have turned into black on-air talent at ABC.
While Fedida was haggling over a new contract for "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, Fedida allegedly said the network had not asked Roberts to "pick cotton," according to HuffPost. Roberts, the most popular on-air star at ABC News, is black and grew up in the deep south.
In a discussion of the former ABC anchor Kendis Gibson, Fedida is described as saying that ABC News "spends more on toilet paper than ever on him".
Gibson, who is also Black and now works at MSNBC, said on Twitter that he was "surprised and disappointed" by Fedida's alleged comments.
This is the deal ..
I really enjoyed the show and the people I worked with at @ABC. I look back lovingly on my time there. I am still surprised and disappointed with the reported comments that a manager has made about me when this is true. I hope and always has been for a more diverse industry.
Reply to @yashar
4. About @kendisgibson, who was previously an anchor at ABC News and is now at MSNBC, Fedida said that ABC News "spends more on toilet paper than ever on him".
11:08 p.m. - June 13, 2020
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The story also claims that the company has entered into confidential agreements with employees who have complained about Fedida, who has been with ABC News since 2011. She started her career at ABC News in 1989 and left in 2006 for five years overseeing talent development at CBS News.
Fedida replied to the HuffPost report with a statement from her lawyer.
"Throughout my career, I've been a supporter of the growing diversity of network messages," the statement said. "Building a news department where everyone can thrive was my life's work. I'm proud of my decades of work hiring, supporting and promoting talented color journalists. And unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, this track record is good documented and undeniable. "
Fedida is the youngest media manager to come under fire for behavior or comments regarding diversity and equal treatment in the workplace. For this reason, executives from the Condé Nast magazine Bon Appétit, the trade magazine Variety and the website Refinery29 have left office or have been taken from their jobs.
The investigation follows protests against George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died on a street in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white cop pushed his knee into Floyd's neck. Along with demonstrations, Floyd's death has sparked a wave of deep thought about racial relations in the United States.
In response to the nation's response to Floyd's death, Disney has donated $ 5 million to social justice organizations.
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