A powerful network news executive has suddenly found herself powerless and out of a job because of racist comments she made in the workplace to and about her Black colleagues. It was the latest in a recent series of racially motivated shakeups in the media world following nationwide protests against racism.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Barbara Fedida, who served as the business affairs chief for ABC News, was fired on Monday in part because of what she said about Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.” But Fedida also targeted at least two other Black women who are also on-air talents, using racist terms in allegations that were first brought to light in a report by the HuffPost last month.
The Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC News, announced Fedida’s firing in an email to the company on Monday.
“The investigation substantiated that Ms. Fedida did make some of the unacceptable racially insensitive comments attributed to her,” Walt Disney Television Chairman Peter Rice wrote in part. “It also substantiated that Ms. Fedida managed in a rough manner and, on occasion, used crass and inappropriate language.”
Rice’s email was too kind.
One of those “racially insensitive comments” a line about picking cotton, a racist reference to Black people if there ever was one. While negotiating a contract renewal with Roberts, a respected anchor who has worked for the Walt Disney Co. for more than 30 years, Fedida reportedly felt Roberts was getting too greedy in her requests.
“Fedida then asked what more Roberts could want and said it wasn’t as if the network was asking Roberts to ‘pick cotton,’” the Huff Post quotes a source as saying.
But wait, there’s more.
“Fedida also allegedly used the term ‘low rent’ to describe Sunny Hostin, a Black co-host on ‘The View,’” the L.A. Times reported. “In discussing the value to the network of former Black correspondent Kendis Gibson, she allegedly said ABC News would spend more money on toilet paper.”
The media industry has been vigilant about trying to rid its ranks of the type of systemic racism that was exposed by ensuring protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Vulture listed at least 13 news organizations — including Complex and Okayplayer — that it said were “reckoning with abuse of power.”
This is America.
'Karens' Gone Wild: Videos Show Privileged White Women Won't Stop Trying To Police People
1. Arlo SoHo Karen
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Wow! This woman made baseless claims against @keyonharrold and his 14yo son at @arlohotels Arlo SoHo — then assaulted them, scratching Keyon & tackling his boy. Worse, the hotel manager defended & empowered her actions, and refused to apologize after her claims were proven wrong! pic.twitter.com/LqHboiAEd6— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 27, 2020
2. Trader Joe's 'Karen'
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This is a Trader Joe’s today. In Los Angeles. Cases are through the roof in California. Is there any way to reach these people?— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) June 27, 2020
3. 'Karen' the angry neighbor
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hey guys!! this is my new neighbor!! pic.twitter.com/yZxsQD1daS— bailey (@bailey3jenkins) June 27, 2020
4. ‘Karen’ Pulls Gun On Black Woman And Daughter After Chipotle Argument4 of 25
5. Nurse ‘Karen’ Fired
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Caron Jones — that’s Caron with a “K” as in “Karen” 👩🏼⚕️ — also called the Black Lives Matter movement a "ploy" for Black votes before the North Carolina nurse got fired for her racist social media posts.https://t.co/WQn68gNToF— NewsOne (@newsone) July 1, 2020
6. St. Louis 'Karen'6 of 25
7. ‘Karen’s Husband’ Investigated After Calling Cops On Black Men
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8. Convenience Store ‘Karen’
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It was the I’m the wrong nigga for me 😭 pic.twitter.com/2Rv33NNn2k— HEAVYY ON IT 🗣💕 (@HeavyyCampp) June 25, 2020
9. Nurse ‘Karen’ Loses Her Job For ‘Black Privilege’ Video
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Kondescending Kunty Kristy AKA Karen pic.twitter.com/qBHivipJ2j— 👸 You Can Call Me ‘Queen (@OutOfFucksQueen) June 28, 2020
10. Seattle ‘Karen’ Has A Total Meltdown After Black Driver Records Her ‘White Tears’
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"I HAVE A BLACK HUSBAND!"— NewsOne (@newsone) June 23, 2020
A "Karen" in Seattle identified as Leah completely lost it when Karlos Dillard, a Black man, confronted and recorded her after he says he was the victim of her racist road rage.
The video has gone viral as Karening gets worse.https://t.co/X5ryYpQlhF
11. Officer ‘Karen’ Is Slammed For Crying White Tears Over McDonald’s Wait11 of 25
12. Kroger ‘Karen’ Blocks Black Mother From Pulling Out Of Parking Lot Over ‘Gatorade’12 of 25
13. San Francisco ‘Karen’ Who Called Cops Over ‘BLM’ Art
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A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— Jaimetoons (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
14. Karen the "Shorewood Spitter"14 of 25
15. Karen's husband
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16. Karen's other husband16 of 25
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Question: I get we’re living in stressful times but why do we keep seeing so many white women abusing workers like this? pic.twitter.com/UKfWG631TX— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) May 18, 2020
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Racism rots your brain pic.twitter.com/OuzPmyRN6d— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 17, 2020
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On the next episode of “are white people ok? 👀”.... meet Red Lobster Karen 🦞 pic.twitter.com/ElgRipPyrU— Tax Wall Street. ✊🏽🦺🌈🧤🪑 (@angel_felixv) May 13, 2020
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I can’t believe this is real. This lady went out to video shame everyone who dared to have fun in the sun at the beach and then she yelled at a Trader Joe’s worker over social distancing.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 18, 2020
Karen needs to just stay home and leave the rest of us alone... 🙄🤦🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/QUeZkRSudW
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K*ren: "Arrest me"— Scottie PIPM (@scottiepipm) April 23, 2020
K*ren: 😲 pic.twitter.com/5NJnPsSj8k
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I’m baffled. Just saw this on the news. Woman who drove 1.5 hours to go to the beach with her family complains about other people at the beach who have done the same as her. Does she not see she’s part of the problem #StayAtHomeSaveLives #COVIDIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/iowllyZEk2— Colm McAfee (@mcafee77) May 17, 2020
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Fired! Exec Who Said ABC News Wasn’t Asking Robin Roberts To ‘Pick Cotton’ Loses Her Job was originally published on newsone.com