Fox News has come under fire for alleged racial discrimination following sexual harassment claims.
Thirteen plaintiffs, all of whom are people of color and are either current or former Fox News employees, have stepped up to sue the conservative news network for discrimination, CNN reported.
Most recently, on April 25, Kelly Wright came clean about his experience as the only black news anchor on the channel and his encounters working for Fox News since 2003.
In his allegations, Wright claims that he “has been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a ‘Jim Crow’ — the racist caricature of a Black entertainer.”
Wright states that he was kept off of “The O’Reilly Factor” and that the current network co-president, Bill Shine, was inconsiderate and often took to singling Wright out for his skin color during conversations.
The black news anchor writes that Shine would ask him questions like, “How do black people react to you?” and, “How do you think white viewers look at you?”
At some point during his 14 years at the network, Wright suggested that they feature a series of positive stories coming from the African-American community on O’Reilly’s show (prior to his resignation). His suggestion was shot down for showing blacks in “too positive” of a light.
Following his claims, Wright has become the leader of the pack, suing the struggling network for the alleged discrimination.
The pack includes both male and female members of the black community.
Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen are the attorneys representing the 13 plaintiffs.
The two lawyers released a statement claiming that Fox News, owned by parent company 21st Century Fox, “has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox.”
“We sincerely hope the filing of this race class action wakes 21st Century Fox from its slumbers and inspires the Company to take a conciliatory and appropriate approach to remedy its wrongs,” the two attorneys added.
Fox News spoke out in regards to the lawsuits building up.
“FOX News and Dianne Brandi vehemently deny the race discrimination claims in both lawsuits. They are copycat complaints of the original one filed last month. We will vigorously defend these cases,” a Fox spokesperson stated.
On April 25, 21st Century Fox and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch sent a memo to Fox News employees, The New York Times reported.
“I know the last few weeks have been tough for everyone here, but our passion for news and commitment to our viewers [continues] to lead us through. Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work,” the memo said.
Sources: CNN, The New York Times / Photo credit: Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr