You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Third Fox News Employee Joins Racial Discrimination Suit Against Network

The problems at Fox News are growing apace. A third Fox News employee has joined the racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the network last week by two female African-American employees.

Monica Douglas, who is black, is a manager for the credits and collections department of Fox News. In the amended complaint filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, Douglas asserts a long list of discriminatory behavior she was subjected to at the hands of longtime Fox News controller Judy Slater. Slater was fired on Feb. 28.

Douglas’ complaint asserts that top Fox News executives, including operations chief Bill Shine and Dianne Brandi, head of legal and business affairs, were aware of Slater’s conduct, but looked the other way for years. Brandi, Slater, Fox News, and parent company 21st Century Fox are named in the suit.

A Fox News spokesperson said Slater was fired before the plaintiffs filed complaints.

“We take complaints of this nature very seriously, and took prompt and effective remedial action in terminating Judy Slater before Ms. Brown, Ms. Wright, and Ms. Douglas sued in court and even before Ms. Wright and Ms. Douglas complained through their lawyer,” the statement reads. “There is no place for conduct like this at Fox News, which is why Ms. Slater was fired.”

The extensive details of alleged harassment and discrimination at Fox News come amid disclosures that its star primetime personality Bill O’Reilly has settled sexual harassment claims with five women in recent years, resulting in at least $13 million in settlements. The disclosures this weekend by the New York Times have prompted blue-chip advertisers Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and BMW to pull ads from “The O’Reilly Factor.” O’Reilly has acknowledged some settlements, but denied that the claims against him have merit.

Concurrent with the mushrooming O’Reilly scandal, Fox News on Monday was hit with another sexual harassment lawsuit alleging unlawful behavior by former chairman-CEO Roger Ailes. Ailes left the network last July after a 20-year reign amid a cascade of allegations that he used his powerful perch to harass numerous female employees and contributors. He has denied the claims.

Douglas’ amended complaint paints a picture of Slater engaging in shocking behavior, from rubbing her hands in Douglas’ hair to kicking her in the backside as she walked down the hall. The complaint includes a litany of racist and discriminatory statements Slater allegedly made to Douglas, including insulting her Panamanian heritage and ridiculing her accent. Slater went so far as to mock Douglas about having had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. Slater called her a “one-boobed girl” and “cancer girl,” among other taunts, according to the complaint.

Douglas’ accusations echo the points made in the original complaint filed by Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright. At the time Slater was fired, 21st Century Fox acknowledged the allegations against the 18-year executive and said in a statement: “There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News.”

The complaint maintains that Brown was fired from her job as a payroll manager in retaliation for speaking out regarding Slater. Wright, a payroll coordinator, asserts she was demoted for the same thing.

Douglas maintains that Slater acted with impunity, going so far as to tell her: “Do not bother going to HR about Slater — I am HR,” according to the complaint, which also cites Fox News HR chief Denise Collins as failing to stop Slater’s behavior.

Douglas’ complaint asserts that Brandi failed to act on a complaint she made in November 2014 about Slater’s behavior. The following year, Fox News initiated an investigation of Slater after another employee complaint, but Douglas was ultimately informed by Brandi: “Slater will not be fired because she knows too much,” according to the complaint.

The swirl of sexual harassment and discrimination actions against Fox News is coupled with a Securities and Exchange Commission probe as to whether alleged settlements made in connection with Ailes’ conduct were properly reported on Fox’s financial statements to shareholders.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content