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

Bob Beckel Fired from Fox Five
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

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.”


Donald Trump Bill O'Reilly

The Dichotomy of Fox News: Ratings Soar Along With Scandals, Settlements

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.


Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment

Everyone Who Left Fox News in the Last Year

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.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 932

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. Grace phifer says:

    He needed to go. Agree a loose cannon

  4. 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


    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?

  6. 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”!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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 !!

  11. DepthTested says:

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

  12. 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.

  13. beniyyar says:

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

  14. 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”.

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

  16. SamboWatch says:

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

  17. 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.

  18. Robert J Powell says:

    I’m glad Bob was fired

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. Thank God he is gone. The biggest loud mouth bigot on FOX.

  23. Beverly Sansum says:

    I’m no Bob Beckel fan, and I don’t know what he said that got him fired, but c’mon! The thought police seem to be everywhere. It’s getting to the point where telling someone to “Have a nice day” or “You look very nice today” will get you fired or sued. We have all made stupid or insensitive remarks. So what! Deal with it or go to your safe room. What a bunch of wusses we’ve turned into.

  24. Carolyn Hauer says:

    Could not stand him – turned the channel every time he started his motor nasty mouth – Good RIDANCE – Juan should follow – will NOT watch!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Mike says:

    Good riddance! Bob Beckel had always been a hypocritical jakaas. Everybody on the 5 less than stellar. Hope o’reilly starts his own network.

  26. William says:


  27. pat says:

    jaun williams- the trump hater. falls in line with murdochs sons taste.
    what about all the false things he says about trump. not enough to get him fired. glad i turned Fox off. don’t need the news. went to OAN -get the truth there.

  28. billokeefe says:

    I have known Bob for over 30 years and it is inconceivable that he would make racially insensitive remarks to an African-American. He was active in the civil rights movement and paid the price by being on the receiving end of physical attacks. None of us have all of the facts and there is a reason for our standard of innocent until proven guilty.

    • Legalmind says:

      The law standard of innocence-until-proven-guilty has absolutely nothing to do with this personal incident. Get off the insipid law lingo when something has nothing to do with a legal issue.

  29. I am glad Bob ias gone. I thought he would be ok when he came back. He ;looked better, but that was very short lived. He is nasty to his co hosts and yells and speaks incoherently. When he gets on a rant I an’t believe the stupid things he says. He talked over the others and went on and on. I was glasd to see him go. I think Fox is a target because they dare to have right wing hosts on. I enjoy Waters. I really miss the O’Reilly show. It was probably the best show on Fox. The Five has always been my favorite but I find it hard to watch the livberals with their rants. Many times Juan or Bovb, they don’t have any common sense and Perpetuate the false news sories that the left wingers keep coming up with, the false news that they keep passing off as offiial.

    • squeesh says:

      Next time before you post, you need to spell-check your sloppy writing. And,bwt, Fox news IS a right-wing channel—how you didn’t notice that, I’ll never know. I seriously doubt you see any liberals “ranting” on there—especially when they can go to better channels like CNN and MSNBC,lol.

  30. marog says:

    Get rid of watters, (and his world),he is arrogant and obnoxious …Cannot watch the Five any longer because of him!

  31. I dont know the details of the other lawsuits so I am just speaking of this article. In this situation how can suing the network be the answer. It was reported and swiftly dealt with. If they had not done anything and or it continued then I can see grounds to sue. This person is obviously wanting a payday which he does not deserve. Dont get me wrong if this occurred then that is not right but the network acted appropriately. The only way I can see him deserving a payout is if the network had received prior complaints about the same person and continued to let him work there to offend others.

  32. Dan Smith says:

    They’re on a firing spree – everything everyone is a target now. CNN must have taken over.

  33. I am not to fond of the “LEFTIES” (REGARDLESS of their political views, which most dem’s are racist) and would prefer to see them all gone. But on the horizon there is a Conservative network coming so GOODBYE Fox!!!

  34. keyester says:

    “I’m leaving my office because your black.”
    Beckel is a nut job, but he’d never say something like that…unless it was a bad attempt to be funny…which might be the case.

  35. naggme says:

    I find it absolutely hilarious that the democrat turns out to be the racist, lol!

    • CV says:

      They tend to be… they just keep it hidden most of the time.

      • The Truth says:

        Bullshit. Anyone with a shred of intelligence knows the Republicans have bent over backwards to make it increasingly difficult for African Americans to vote, has consistently characterized black citizens as welfare freeloaders, and continue to support policies that will deny African Americans opportunity and equal protection under the law.

  36. Robi says:

    Couldn’t stand Beckel. And i won’t watch when Juan is on. Both are angry, liberal, ignorant Trump-hating jerks. Thank God Bob is gone…hope Juan is next. And as far as all the lawsuits go….i don’t buy it. You have liars looking for an easy payday. Bring O’Reilly back. It’s extortion and Fox is letting it happen. The only lie i will go for is the one that got Bob fired! Quit paying out the liars and quit letting conservatives get pushed around!!

    • squeesh says:

      The Truth:
      That’s been true for years, and I get tired of hearing that racist BS too.

    • squeesh says:

      Hell,yeah, that’s racist, especially with that stupid “watermelon” remark. How could it not be? Get real–if that was ever said,that is.

    • ugottabekiddnme says:

      Bring back the sexual predator? Payouts Are what is expected when you’re discriminated against or sexually harassed at most companies. There must be some compensation.

  37. Barbara Patterson says:

    Glad Beckel is gone. Now, we have to get rid of Juan Williams. He’s one of the worst and most negative news broadcasters around. Everyone I know changes channels when he’s on. Please get rid of Juan.

  38. Oldsaylor65 says:

    “Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” the network said in a statement.: What the hell was the comment. You sure wasted a lot of space for this story and never did actually report what caused the story. VERY POOR REPORTING

    • Coq Meunier says:

      I agree with oldsaylor. Nothing like stirring up the punters just to attract readers.. Anything that happens at fox gets 6 to 7 inches of air from any rag willing o print it. Most reasonable people could give a crap less how some wennie whinner has been offended. Boo hoo a black man was called black. Am I missing something here? It just makes everyone look small and petty, but leave it up to the media to continue to encourage petty niggerdly behavior. Admit it’s all just about money!!!

  39. candace gregory says:

    Glad to have Juan Back! Bob was to controversial I didn’t enjoy the show when he was on. Never liked him.

  40. Mr. America says:

    This guy was one of the worst fake-journalists in recent times, promulgating horse manure a plenty.
    Best thing is to never print or mention his name again.

  41. Tim Osman says:

    I can’t believe he was on Fox at all. He should go on CNN…the home of FAKE NEWS

  42. Southern Perspective says:

    Bob Beckel? He ran Mondale’s prez campaign. He’s out on a left limb. He’s been there, done that and been around long enough to know how to swim. It just doesn’t make sense that someone, anyone would holler “i’m getting out because you’re black.” Sounds really too made up. Reminds me of Colin Powel siting an intercepted cellphone message from the Saddam era Iraqi and the conversation was in English. Ah, you think?

  43. daleshouse says:

    This guy is as much a democrat as Hillary. They’re both moderate republicans. He was only there because he wasn’t as extememly alt right as the rest of the folks on Fox and Fox could bill him as a democrat to provide a counterpoint to they’re radical conservatism. If they really want a counterpoint, why don’t they hire Jon Stewart. Now there’s a liberal.

  44. Tiffany Montano says:

    I may not like what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it. What ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty.” It’s a sad state when Snowflakes with greed and greedy lawyers can destroy a man’s life and career. I don’t care for Mr. Beckel’s politics but he has the right to say whatever he chose to say. It’s all about how much money they can sue for. Because they got their feelings hurt. But if it was a poor person it would be different. It appear the Snowflakes are trying to bring down Fox Network. And Fox caves again.

    • Mike Brill says:

      Seems to me the only snowflake here is you. There were witnesses, kid. If you do something against company policy, they have the right to fire you. Cry me a river defending a man’s 1st amendment right when he is at work representing his employee with his words and actions. Good luck using that excuse flipping burgers, much less in a position like his.

  45. Jo Mo says:

    The Trump family needs to start their own TV station and air true news shows and put on good conservative shows. Enough of these President Trump bashing shows all day every day fake news networks.

  46. Bob it must be the season😎 Your being taken down like Our General Lee. Your part of history to follow.. Shameful to The USA. Bob remember Imus and Marg!! Best of luck and keep on “Trucking” Semper Fi from an old fart Marine 0f the Fifties ✝️🇺🇸

  47. Chris says:

    The fake liberal clown who Fox kept around to make liberals look stupid turned out to be a racist? Who could of saw that coming…

    • BC says:

      Fake Liberal? Get real…the Left have been the REAL racists since before the Civil War…The DemocRat Plantation…most corrupt & wicked entity around.

      • sherry mccarthy says:

        Yes, and don’t forget Gov George Wallace (D) who fought with everything in him to keep Blacks segregated and out of better “white” schools. Only when Democrats figured out that it would be politically beneficial to capture the Black vote, did they start their phony support of them in order to gain and keep control. And they’ve done a pretty good job of it, too. By creating a class of dependent people, systems that sought to destroy their family units by replacing the role of father with the government. By convincing many that they indeed were not equal to others and needed that affirmative action, and other special treatment etc., and then when Republicans wanted instead to give them opportunity to prosper on their own, they began the “racist” rhetoric. Today, in fact, liberals are are telling us that to use the word “success” is racist. Democrats, are the true race haters and will use all these lies to try to hide it. Always have been, always will.

      • Dorothy Johnson says:

        I would love to add to that comment. The lefties have always been the slave holders, race basters, God haters, and assassinate rs of America. The people who know it least are those who were the most affected by the bite of those spiders. They call themselves African Americans now. I will not accept that definition of my race. Black is sufficient for me. I have nothing to be ashamed of. To be African defines nationality not race. The left dragged our ancestors here, enslaved them, humiliated them, and now uses warmed over tactics to keep slavery alive in another form.
        If O’Reilly is guilty, I don’t give a crap. What did Bill Clinton do? The nuts put him in office for a second term. They do what they want, and they get away with it, O’Reilly is the best thing that every happened to Fox News. The lefties always have a plan to rid this nation of the freedoms for which the founders fought.
        They are rotten and crooked to the bone. If anyone needs to leave office, it is all of them. Killed Martin, his mother, Kennedy and his brother, Lincoln, and a lot of those children in the schools. They are the trash of America, and they still have Obama to cheer them on to the gates of Hell.

      • Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…………kept around to make liberals look stupid………Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, no help needed in that department.

    • Daniel Kenny says:

      Today is a great day. I only have heard great news. Keep up the good work Fox news.

  48. Ron Innan says:

    This firing was long overdue. Bob Beckel was the reason I stopped watching “The Five” due to his hatefully biased and totally one-sided comments. Bye bye Bobby…

  49. William Antonowicz says:

    Firing Bob Beckel is a mistake. I used to get similar comments from people because I was a “stinkin Polak”, or a “yak she”, but I learned to deal with it, and the answer is you have to think a little bit smarter than these people, not have some do-gooder always jump to your defense. After all, we do have rights to freedom of speech and people who are bigots eventually get smarter or go their own way. I’m not calling Bob Beckel as bigot, as he isn’t one, and I actually like his perspective on the issues. We should stop trying to sterilize society.

    • laiconna says:

      Why should anyone have to DEAL with disrespect? Beckel’s job should be just as important to him as the job is to the one he insulted. No one should have to Deal with harassment on the job.

  50. Beckel is a blowhard liberal POS, but it is idiotic to think ‘he stormed out saying you are black.’

More TV News from Variety