Fox News Fires ‘The Five’ Co-Host Bob Beckel Over Racist Comment

Bob Beckel Fired from Fox Five
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Fox News Channel is parting ways — again — with Bob Beckel, the co-host of its primetime program, “The Five.”

“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” the network said in a statement.

The dismissal opens — or perhaps closes — another chapter in an off-and-on relationship Beckel has had with the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet over the years. Beckel, a longtime political consultant as well as a former campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, joined Fox News in 2000, and had a years-long tenure on “The Five” when it aired in the late afternoon. Indeed, he was one of the program’s original co-hosts.

He departed in 2015 while recuperating from back surgery in a split that was seen as less an amicable. “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold ‘The Five’ hostage to one man’s personal issues,” said Bill Shine, who was then the network’s executive vice president of programming, in a statement at the time. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.”

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But Beckel returned to Fox News in 2017 after doing a stint at CNN, and was greeted with open arms. “Bob was missed by many fans of ‘The Five’ and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News Channel and its corporate parent, 21st Century Fox, in a prepared statement, in January.

Fox News’ human resources department was made aware of a complaint about what one person familiar with the situation characterized as a “racially insensitive remark” on Tuesday evening. Executives conducted an internal investigation, this person said, and decided to part ways with Beckel Friday morning.

Douglas Wigdor, an attorney who represents several current and former employees who have alleged racial discrimination at Fox News in a lawsuit, said he is representing the employee who complained about Beckel. In a statement, Wigdor alleged Beckel “stormed out of his office” when an African-American information-technology employee came to service his computer, “telling our client that he was leaving his office because he was black.” Wigdor alleged Fox News executives tried to get the employee to withdraw the complaint. “As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week,” Wigdor said.

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Fox News disputed that account in a statement. ““As Mr. Wigdor knows, Fox News made the decision to terminate Mr. Beckel after a prompt and thorough investigation. His client raised the complaint to Kevin Lord, EVP Human Resources, on Tuesday evening via email and within 7 minutes Mr. Lord responded and began the investigation. Today, Fox News delivered that message to Mr. Beckel and facilitated an apology from Mr. Beckel to the employee minutes after he was terminated. No one tried to persuade Mr. Wigdor’s client to withdraw his complaint.”

Fox News’ internal culture has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Wigdor’s clients have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Fox News in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, adding to a wave of litigation set against the network that levels claims of sexual harassment and cultural insensitivity. Fox continues to grapple with perceptions in the wake of the ousters of both Roger Ailes, its former chief executive, last year, as well as Bill O’Reilly, its top host. Both men had been accused of sexual harassment. Ailes denied the allegations and O’Reilly has said his fame made him a target had made settlements to accusers out of a desire to protect his children.

The network has set in place a new human-resources chief and hired female executives to fill an open chief financial officer slot as well as its head of ad sales. Staffers have been urged to come forward if they believe they witness discriminatory behavior. In a memo to employees sent in April, Fox News’ human resources chief told employees, “We want to give you every opportunity to be heard” about workplace concerns.

Beckel leaves after Fox News made “The Five” part of its primetime lineup just a few weeks ago, part of an effort to realign the most-watched part of its schedule after O’Reilly’s departure last month. Despite its name, the show employs more than five co-hosts, all of whom rotate in across various nights. Juan Williams, another Fox News political analyst with Democratic leanings, is expected to appear more regularly on the show, which also includes Jesse Watters, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, and Kimberly Guilfoyle as co-hosts.

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  1. Rita says:

    I turn the Channel when Juan Williams, Richard Fowler, and Bod Beckel came on. It’s a shame, these guys can’t speak the truth about how much our President has done since he’s been in office. I don’t wish firing are bad things on anyone, but my remote keeps me sane thank God for it. Fox is going to fool around and loose all it’s audience because of these guys above. Juan Williams over shouts everyone, Richard Fowler comes on looking for an argument. Beckel gone.

  2. scott boyd says:

    Just for starters, Bob Beckel was a pompous and bigoted Jerk. Good riddance! Fox has taken one great show ( The Five) and turned it into two losers. Without Eric Bolling on the Fox News Specialists is just a conservative “The View”. Why anybody would be interested in either of the two other cohosts opinions amazes me. Waters was great on the street for 5 minutes, but he alone has destroyed “The Five”. His monopolizing of the conversations and smug attitude is intolerable. I no longer watch either show. Good luck, but if somebody at the network doesn’t wake up, BOTH shows will be discontinued.

  3. Dolores ALGER says:

    Why stop there, i hate the five, can them too it reallt sucks

  4. Irene says:

    I really don’t like Juan Williams….he really twists things just like all of the now Socialist Democrats….I love the show , but when I hear his comments …..I turn the channel…..he is one sided and is not fair with his comments…..Thank you, Irene

  5. Don Juan says:

    I don’t condone anyone who uses racial remarks towards another person. It doesn’t matter if a person is black, white, green, yellow or purple, we all deserve equal respect. As with what Bob Beckel alledgly said to the man, I don’t think he should have been fired from Fox. Are we all so thin skinned now that if a supposed racial comment like this one is so grievous to a person that they run off to the Human Resource department to make a complaint? I suspect there is much, much more to this story than we already know. Bob Beckel is a loud mouth jerk for sure and he does deserve some type of punishment if he did this. But to be fired because he didn’t like the guy because he is black is a little extreme. Because if very business in this country followed this same kind of logic, we would all be fired from our jobs. None of us are perfect. And if you deny that you have never said something to another employee that is remotely racist, then you are lying to yourself.

  6. Martie Jordan says:

    I always thought Bob Beckel got super nasty and was given to serious name calling which is not necessary to get a point across.

  7. Becky Thompson says:

    I agree with all the comments below I am conservative but enjoy Bob Beckel. I can relate to where he comes from and I can listen to him. To where Juan Williams just gets on a tangent and goes on and on and on and I cannot listen to his point of view.

  8. boris kushnir says:

    Why Juan Williams can’t be fired? OMG, have anybody listen his opinion almost on any subject especially just recent on NY Mayer De Blazio protest organizer at G20 event and Muslim activist praising Jihad… against Trump administration? Would FOX ever fire this Loony Bird Journalist?

  9. Rebecca Loft says:

    I would rather have 20 Beckel’s then one (1) Megan McCain….if she knows so look much, why does she have to talk so much and shout others down? Please let her run for something…..go awa so I can watch again. Thank you

  10. Sharon McClung says:

    Now that Beckel is gone I will once again be watching The Five every day. I stopped watching when he returned.

  11. Herbert lao says:

    It is refreshing to watch my favorite cable show The five every wkdays. Without them my daily life would not be complete.

    • Jerry says:

      Poor Herbert – I guess you may or may not be a widower as I am, but if I couldn’t live without watching “The Five” to make my life compete, you have a problem. Maybe in your case, you should watch the morning show called “The View”. That should really make your day!!!

  12. Melanie says:

    Mixed emotions about Bob Beckel’s dismissal, very sad if allegations are true. Really enjoy The Five with Richard Fowler though.

  13. ADELAIDE C. RULE says:

    I want Bob Bickel BACK! Juan Williams is a sad substitute for a TRUE Liberal, and…I am a CONSERVATIVE. I loved the wry, somewhat cynical outlook of Bob. Damn: Political Correctness
    wins again. Sooo tired of it. If Fox News is succumbing to this, what’s next?

  14. Susan V. Parris says:

    Juan Williams is ruining the five. He loses control and says the post stupid comments.

  15. Sue says:

    I wish juan Willuams would turn the volume down! Lately he’s been so loud and screechy, and tries to shout everyone down. It’s really hard to watch (and listen to).

    • Michelle says:

      I feel that Juan Williams has been speaking over and much LOUDER than all the others just so his points get through. It it a bit frustrating because it used to be that each would get a few minutes to share their thoughts and move it right along. He’s starting to make me want to change the channel. I love Jesse,Greg,Kim and Dana but that’s it. I’m trying to stay loyal to them but it’s hard with Juans outlandish thoughts and overbearing voice… I can’t take it. Bye..

  16. Peter Bohren says:

    AND NOW IT’S TIME TO GET RID OF FOWLER AND WILLIAMS !!!!! thank GOD for MUTE-BUTTONS as soon as those two MORONS start a TIRADE !!

    • Nelta cox says:

      I can’t stand Juan williams! His view on everything is against TRUMP! Fire him if you fire anybody! He is the reason i quit watching the five. I want O’Reilly back!! For the record I’m a conservative republican and proud of it! Tucker and HANNITY I adore. I also love Kimberly but can’t watch her unless she fills in for Hannity can’t handle big mouth Juan!

  17. Stan Bowers says:

    The five is great as long as the idiot, Richard Fowler, isn’t on. Fowler never met an argument he didn’t like. He is absolutely obnoxious and I refuse to watch ANY program on Fox that he is on.

  18. Cool Hand Luke says:

    Kudos to Richard Dailey’s comments on May 23, and ‘Bob’ on May 20. Now, this situation is a good example of what damage EEOC can do to an organization. All the political correctness garbage was originally geared FOR the defense of the blacks, of which has been so out of control for decades. Blacks know this, and the white liberals sit on their laps while the blacks ‘bounce and burp’ the white liberals. Nothing is ever said when mouthy blacks and white liberals use terms such as “…..not another OLD WHITE MAN”. No one is chastised, or disciplined then. Though the blacks WILL, AND DO rally together, in the workplace too, if you say even the most trivial vocabulary that only THEY find offensive. I’ve seen it, been there, and experienced the absolute backstabbing moments. Yes, I have met and worked with nice black folks. I’ve also know SOME of them to completely surprise you, and turn on you when their black friends find it tempting to do so.
    Look up the Tucker show broadcast within the last 7 days of the black woman FILLED w/a jackass attitude, with all the BLACK SWAGGER she can muster, defending the BLM and trashing white people.
    News Flash: This attitude goes on all the time against white people. So, Yes, I’m a conservative, though i do back Bob Beckel on this matter. Of course I don’t agree with Bob’s politics, but as long as the U.S. white people don’t wake up, and call it as an umpire should, i.e. straight down the middle, regardless of mass black temper tandrums, in the streets, then it WILL get worse. Larry Elder (black talk show host) calls it the way it is. Tune in some time. Seems like any conversation on any topic, ends up somehow as being morphed into a racial ‘blame the white man’ route. ALL ROADS LEAD TO RACISM. You can be talking about the manufacturing process of bubble gum, and somehow it will end up being ‘racist’. The racial tension is the downfall of this Country. I really am sick of it. I also don’t believe in ‘sucking up’ to someone’s race.
    Being cordial to a black in the same manner you would be to a white, should be sufficient. NOT acting or ‘talking’ black, or ebonics, or anything other than the King’s English.

  19. Summer Blue says:

    I don’t believe Beckel would do that in-a-ny-minute.

  20. Kim Mclellan says:

    I’m just not sure I believe this about Beckal,but even if it’s true,doesn’t seem a good enough reason to fire the man,I was happy to see him back on their.I just don’t know what’s going on at fox,I’m still not over O’Reilly leaving,I miss him & Megan Kelly,& Greta,& Gretchen,you had such good people & the best shows,but anymore it’s just not the same talent,at least bring O’Reilly back!

  21. tommariner says:

    Fox News was O’Reilly, Megyn, Greta and Williams.

    The only major media not a part of the Democrat Party will be gone by the end of the year.

  22. JB says:

    Just noticed haven’t seen Beckle this past couple weeks. They didn’t announce that he had left FOX. Glad they got rid of him. He was totally annoying & came across as an old bigoted fart. Sayonara, don’t let the door hit ya on the a$$ on your way out. Go to CNN, they hire bigots there.

  23. Really???? I am an avid Fox viewer and I just realized they fired Bob. I must have missed that segment. If they keep going like this, they might just as well become CNN. I liked Bob because he was “old time” and had smarts beyond some of the executives at Fox. This is a load of bovine scat if you ask me. I am starting to watch One America News a lot more since it is now available on Direct TV. If Fox continues to dump their employees for BS reasons like a “comment”, I will block their channel on my TV. Talk about first amendment rights and the “fair and balanced” slogan? Nothing fair about dumping a guy for a bad remark, even if he did say it. Grow a skin. The very reason I watch Fox and not CNN is because I thought they were against this type of thing.

  24. Cathleen Peterson says:

    I would like to see Kimberly Guilfoyle as a co host instead of Jesse Waters or Greg Gutfeld. I think the three are terrific, but to balance the scale, and to grab more females, such as myself, I would make it a point to watch your 5 show, if you had a female cohost Kimberly Guilfoyle or Ms. Perino As of now, I skip watching Fox news regularily, though if the TV is on, I’ll watch Tucker or Sean for a while, and I’m not sure of the times they are on. I’m retired and love spending time with my dogs the birds on the grounds. May return to University for a MS in Cyber Security. I have a Computer Science bachelors and I have a high interest and always have in anything engineering & techie. Wake up frequently with the sun.

  25. Barry Johnson says:

    Fox should dump Veraldo remember when he was embedded with our troops……. what a looser. Megan McCain and her father little John if I never seen or heard of would be way too soon. Jaun Williams makes Bob Beckel look like a Sunday school teacher…….. what a stupid Raciest butt head…….We only watch Fox but maybe changing Very very soon, they are really turning left. Go President Trump , please drain the swamp it’s really really sick.

  26. Roz Adenbaum says:

    thank goodness you let Beckel go. every time he was on I turned off the show. he never knew the subject matter and showed his stupidity. he was nasty and did not respect the office of the Presidency! he was crass and a bore. now I can watch again. thank you.

  27. Judith Rosser says:

    I can’t believe you allow that Juan Williams on your show. We won’t watch anymore because of his attitude towards everyone and everything. He looks so stupid because he always raises his eyebrows and eyes wide open when somebody says something he doesn’t like.
    You guys deserve him!

  28. Bob says:

    Goodbye Bob, I’ve heard him say stuff a coupl of times where I was like WTF?!? it took an african american comment to get rid of him…go figure

  29. Kathleen Luria says:

    I admit I was not a Bob Beckel fan and was sorry to see him back on The Five; however, I find it hard to believe he made a racist comment especially knowing his background in the civil rights movement! Trust me I would never be an apologist for him! I am glad he is gone, though! He was out of control with is hatered for the President! Like all,liberals!

  30. Charles Nixon says:

    Fox News did its self a great service by firing that stupid Bob Beckel, i don’t see why Fox hired him
    he never got anything right, and times he looked as if he was high on Opiods, i was about ready to
    sop watching that show for i couldn’t stand watching that screwball any longer.

  31. Nancy Withers says:

    Good …we’re glad to see Bob Beckel..leave …more should leave Juan. ..among other Ones who disrespect the President of the United States. …President Trump deserves a chance!!!

  32. Grace phifer says:

    He needed to go. Agree a loose cannon

  33. Cupster says:

    Why did fox taking him back they knew he was a loose cannon and I put this one on Fox, where is the leadership I don’t agree with a man putting the backside of a woman or anything else but fix needs strong leadership get back people that made a difference Oreilly for instants, not blowhard lefties

  34. RICHARD DAILEY says:

    Never cared much for Bob Beckel, but to fire a co-host or any other employee for “racial comments” is becoming a huge problem in Politically Correct America. If he disliked the computer tech. that’s his problem. To say I don’t want to be here because “he black” is, in my opinion, is all the excuse the Black’s need today (not all for pete sake, just the socialist liberals) to get the White man fired. The Trent Lott case is a good example. Whatever happened to “free speech” even though Mr. Beckel comment was rude and not respectful to another employee. The term “racial” is out of control. There are better ways to settle internal problems. We should not even know this. Beckel call our President some very terrible names, what about that?

  35. Jim maxwell says:

    It about time Fox sent Beckel packing. He brought the class of the “5 “down several levels wiht his mouth. Last week before they canned him, he called President Trump a “Punk” and an
    “idiot” on the same show. Nice Move Bob… Bob I am afraid you belong in one class- “Loser”!

  36. Linda Tovar` says:

    He should have been fired when he called Sec. of Education a “broad’ on the Greg Guttfield Show, with no apology. Don’t bring him back.

  37. ImaHippyBurning says:

    Can’t stand Bob – But this sounds like complete BULLSHIITE! Stop the Political Correctness or watch your Country go the way of The Roman Empire!

  38. I was in construction, worked on the Century Freeway through Watts,(LA riots and such) never heard the n word or anything else disparaging. Don’t believe in NYC someone is going around saying crap like that

  39. Bonnie G says:

    Don’t watch him but the statement they say he made sounds pretty far-fetched to me. Like who would say that???? Don’t believe it happened. Thinking employee just wants on the money train. choo choo !!

  40. DepthTested says:

    They should bring on Keith Olberman. I’ve heard he’s pleasant to be around.

  41. DepthTested says:

    In other words, the liberal guy on The Five is a racist. Pretty much what you usually discover about liberals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a liberal make a racial, homophobic or sexist comment when they’re pissed. True colors.

  42. beniyyar says:

    An awful lot of important TV people are being “fired”! OReilly, Tim Allen, and others, perhaps they are all connected?

  43. Libertarian Advocate says:

    It wouldn’t come as a shock to me if Beckel pulled it just to trigger the complaint. IMO, he is a thoroughly classless “liberal”.

  44. Shocking. Nothing but class acts over there at Fox “News”

  45. SamboWatch says:

    Calling Juan Williams an uneducated and ignorant mulligan and watermelon hound was NOT extreme, insensitive or racist.

  46. sherry mccarthy says:

    A news outlet has stated that Beckel, who along with his father has worked along with MLK for civil rights, stormed out of his office when a Black technician came in to work on his computer, complaining that the techie was black. Gee, has anyone else ever left an office, muttering I’ll be “back.” I’m on the right, Beckel is on the left and all this sounds like a lynching to me.

  47. Robert J Powell says:

    I’m glad Bob was fired

  48. Shane Miller says:

    Thank God!!!!! I didn’t want to watch “The Five” because of him but I can’t stand Juan Williams either. I like Jesse but probably not a good fit with the other co-hosts. It is obvious they have issues with him due to how “green” he is. Dana is just irritating. So really I guess the show should be cancelled.

  49. Kim says:

    Bob Beckel may have acted like an ass on the show but he he was much more fun to watch than Juan Williams.

  50. Renee Fourcade McAnnally says:

    The premise of The Five is to INCLUDE diverse opinions. That being said, I have no tolerance for derogatory comments from anyone on The Five and Fox News. I personally do not have a problem with Juan. He is not brash or over the top. He just presents the more liberal side of the discussion. Fair enough. Bob, on the other hand, was WAY over the top; bordering on lunacy. I’m glad he’s gone.

    Jesse Watters is another story. He made a rude, crude and disgusting comment about Ivanka Trump. No action taken. However, when Bill Maher of another network, made deplorable comments about Ivanka Trump, Fox News covered it as if he should be off the airwaves. While I agree with that sentiment, why was it okay for Jesse Watters to make unacceptable comments about the President’s daughter, but unacceptable for Bill Maher? Sheer hypocrisy.

    I wrote to Fox about this very thing, but I didn’t expect a response nor did I expect them to do anything about Jesse Watters. If more people would express their opinions to the Fox News management, perhaps something would be done.

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