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More Black Employees To Sue Fox News Over ‘Jim Crow’ Abuse

Black Fox Employees

If you thought that Fox News’ problems would dissipate with the firing this week of anchor Bill O’Reilly, think again. Seven more African American Fox News employees are expected to join a racial discrimination lawsuit against the network next week, alleging they have been subject to racial insults and humiliation for years.

Details of the allegations, reported Sunday (April 23) by New York magazine, are horrifying, although given the vitriolic, racist, and sexist content often broadcast on Fox News, not entirely surprising. It was not clear from the report how many of the seven still work at Fox.

The new plaintiffs are expected to join a lawsuit filed last month at the State Supreme Court in the Bronx by two other women who worked in the payroll department and accused the company’s comptroller, Judith Slater, of “top-down racial harassment.” Slater was fired last February after working at the company for many years.

A letter obtained by New York magazine from attorneys representing the payroll employees and sent to the network accuses accounting director Tammy Efinger of encouraging Slater’s “vitriol.”

The letter also includes new allegations “reminiscent of Jim Crow era battle royals,” in which Slater allegedly forced black employees into arm wrestling matches with white female employees “just down the hall” from former CEO Roger Ailes’ office.

According to the magazine:

“Forcing a black woman employee to ‘fight’ for the amusement and pleasure of her white superiors is horrifying. This highly offensive and humiliating act is reminiscent of Jim Crow era battle royals,” the letter says, referring to the practice of paying black men to fight blindfolded at carnivals for white spectators’ entertainment. The lawyers argue that Efinger bragged about wanting to “fight” a black employee.

An attorney for the employees said more complaints are coming in the next few days. Fox News did not comment in New York magazine’s story.

In the original lawsuit filed last month against Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox, payroll manager Tichaona Brown and payroll coordinator Tabrese Wright accused Slater of “making numerous racially charged comments, including suggestions that black men were ‘women beaters’ and that black people wanted to physically harm white people,” according to The New York Times.

Slater also allegedly asked Wright if her children were “fathered by the same man.”

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Wright was transferred out of the payroll department, the newspaper notes.


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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