Fox News Channel says it has fired Judy Slater, who worked as a comptroller for the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet for nearly two decades, in the wake of what it called “abhorrent behavior” that had been brought to the attention of senior management in recent weeks.
Slater had been accused of marking derogatory comments to African-American employees at the TV unit, according to a person familiar with the matter, and was investigated after the situation was made known to Kevin Lord, executive vice president of human resources at the company, which comprises the operations of both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. This person said the executive had been accused of making demeaning remarks to African-American staffers and ridiculing the way she said the employees pronounced words.
Slater could not be reached for immediate comment.
“We take any complaint of this nature very seriously and took the appropriate action in investigating and firing Ms. Slater within two weeks of this being brought to our attention,” said Fox News in a statement. “There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News.” Fox News declined to elaborate beyond its statement.
Fox News Channel came under scrutiny last year after its former leader Roger Ailes, was accused of sexual harassment by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. A subsequent investigation elicited similar allegations from other female employees. Ailes denied the charges, but was removed from his post in the wake of a probe conducted by attorneys at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Since that time, Fox agreed to a settlement with Carlson, as well as a handful of other employees. A settlement between Fox News and former contributor Tamara Holder, was disclosed earlier this month. Holder had levied sexual-harassment allegations against Francisco Cortes, a vice president of Fox News Latino, in October. A legal matter involving Andrea Tantaros, a one-time dayside anchor and contributor, remains extant, with Tantaros’ attorney trying to steer the imbroglio away from arbitration.
Slater’s termination was reported previously by The Wrap.