ABC News VP Put On Leave After Reports That She Made Insensitive and Racist Remarks
According to a recent piece that appeared in DEADLINE, ABC News has just put a top executive on leave after she demonstrated a pattern of making insensitive and racist remarks.
ABC announced this morning that Barbara Fedida, senior vice president of talent, editorial strategy and business affairs for the network will remain on leave while the claims are being investigated.
Fedida oversaw newsroom inclusion and was responsible for hiring and developing network anchors and correspondents. According to a report that originated on HuffPost, Fedida’s alleged misconduct has resulted in the network spending millions of dollars in confidential settlements with former talent and staff. At least one of these settlements is related to racial discrimination.
A spokesperson for ABC News said, “There are deeply disturbing allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we have placed Barbara Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation. These allegations do not represent the values and culture of ABC News, where we strive to make everyone feel respected in a thriving, diverse and inclusive workplace.”
The National Association of Black Journalists released a statement saying that they organization is “appalled” by the allegations against Ferdida and are asking ABC news to conduct an investigation and to waive confidentiality agreements so that others came come forward and speak on record if they want to.
“This external investigation by ABC News should be transparent, and all findings must be published and broadcast,” the NABJ said. “This is appropriate because Fedida was no second-tier executive. This top ABC News executive wielded arguably the most power at the network in determining the fates of Black employees in terms of hiring and contracts. The careers of many at ABC News, as well as their future advancement, was literally in her hands.”
They also are calling for a meeting with top leadership of ABC News and its parent company, The Walt Disney Co.
According to the report in HuffPost, journalist Yashar Ali said that he spoke to 34 sources over 6 months regarding the claims against Ferdida
Fedida released a statement through her attorney saying, “Throughout my career, I have been a champion for increased diversity in network news. Building a news division where everyone can thrive has been my life’s mission. I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting and promoting talented journalists of colour. And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable.”
However, HuffPost says they have reports to the contrary including a dozen Human Resource complaints and a Human Resources investigation back in 2016 which resulted in the network hiring an executive coach for her.
Fedida has worked at the network since 2011 and reported to ABC News James Goldston as well as Ben Sherwood. This is a story we’ll continue to follow here at MickeyBlog. Keep checking in for the latest news and updates.