Two Black women filed a lawsuit against Fox News on Tuesday night in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, New York.
The women alleged to have been victims of “top-down racial harassment” in the Fox News payroll department — specifically by Judith Slater, the company’s comptroller, reported the New York Times.
Tichaona Brown, a payroll manager, and Tabrese Wright, a payroll coordinator, reported that Ms. Slater made several racially charged and degrading comments towards the women. According to the suit, Slater once said that Black men were “women beaters” and she allegedly made a generalization that Black people wanted to hurt white people.
Brown and Wright alleged that Slater made offensive remarks about the way Black people talk. According to the women, Slater said Black employees mispronounced “mother,” “father,” “month” and “ask.” During a meeting, Slater allegedly asked Brown to say those words out loud.
Wright also asserted that Slater once asked if her three children were all “fathered by the same man.”
The attorneys for the women have a strong feeling that the right decision will be made.
“We are confident that the good men and women of the Bronx will hold Fox accountable for what we believe to be its abhorrent racist conduct, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, said in a statement.
Although the women claimed to have been fired and/or demoted after reporting Slater, Fox has maintained that they both are still employed. The company added that Slater was fired on February 28, immediately after allegations were made.
“We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action before Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright sued in court and even before Ms. Wright complained through her lawyer,” the company said in a statement. “There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.”
The women refused a settlement offer made by the company.