Wigdor LLP has filed a lawsuit against Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., and Judith Slater, the Controller and Senior Vice President of Accounting at Fox, on behalf of Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright.
In the Complaint, Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright allege that Ms. Slater engaged in racially motivated discrimination against employees for years. During their employment in Fox’s payroll department, the Complaint alleges that Plaintiffs were subjected to relentless bigotry from Ms. Slater, the supervisor of payroll. For example, the Complaint alleges that Ms. Slater repeatedly ridiculed black employees by mocking the stereotyped mispronunciation of words such as “mother” and “father” as “muva” and “fava,” going so far as to force black employees to practice saying the words “correctly”, in an attempt to humiliate them in front of white colleagues. The Complaint also alleges that Ms. Slater criticized the “Black Lives Movement” and called it “racist.” Outrageously, as alleged in the complaint, Ms. Slater regularly held her hands up in the universal “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” position when Ms. Brown stopped by her office to say good-bye for the evening. As alleged, after Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright dared to speak out about the hostile work environment, rather than take action to put an end to the blatant racist discrimination, Fox reacted by firing Ms. Brown and demoting Ms. Wright.
Only when Fox learned that Wigdor LLP would be filing a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright, did they take action and immediately terminate Slater. As the complaint contends, this was not a response by Fox to condemn racist and discriminatory practices inherent within the organization; rather it was a preemptive act by Fox’s public relations machine to make it appear that they would not condone discriminatory behavior, thereby mitigating some of the inevitable damage to Fox’s reputation. However, as alleged in the complaint, Fox was fully aware of Slater’s racist conduct and allowed it to continue for years without reprisal; at no point did Fox take steps to terminate, or even reprimand Slater, until they were given notice of the aforementioned lawsuit.
Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright are represented by Wigdor LLP Partners Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne M. Christensen, and Senior Associate Michael J. Willemin. Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen have released the following statement regarding the lawsuit: “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.”
Given the serious nature of the claims, adding to a succession of sexual harassment allegations made against Fox in recent months, the lawsuit has garnered significant media coverage, both nationally and internationally. The complaint, and articles can be found below.
The Wall Street Journal
“Two Black Women Sue Fox News, Claiming Racial Discrimination”
March 29, 2017