'This is the type of racism that black people deal with every day': The View host Sunny Hostin says she was 'hurt' by claims that suspended ABC News executive Barbara Fedida called her 'low rent'

The View host Sunny Hostin says she is 'really disappointed and saddened' by racist remarks ABC News senior executive Barbara Fedida allegedly made about the network's black journalists.  
Hostin opened Monday's episode by addressing a bombshell HuffPost report published over the weekend that claimed Fedida had called Hostin 'low rent' and made other derogatory comments about Good Morning America host Robin Roberts. 
'I think I should say something, it was a tough weekend for me, and I was really disappointed and saddened and hurt when I learned about the racist comments that were made, allegedly, about me, my colleagues and my dear friends,' Hostin, who is black and Latina, said.
'Because, if true, to reference Robin Roberts, who is one of the most respected and beloved journalists in our country as "picking cotton"; to reference me, someone who has been very open about having grown up in public housing as being "low rent", it tells me that systemic racism touches everything and everyone in our society regardless of social stature.'
She went on to say that 'no one is immune' to systematic racism.  
'It's the type if racism that black people deal with every single day,' Hostin said. 
'It has to stop and I look forward to the results of what I hear is going to be an independent, external investigation and I felt very loved and supported by my colleagues.'
The View host Sunny Hostin (pictured) on Monday said she is 'really disappointed and saddened' by racist remarks ABC News senior executive Barbara Fedida allegedly made about her and other black journalists at the network
The View host Sunny Hostin (pictured) on Monday said she is 'really disappointed and saddened' by racist remarks ABC News senior executive Barbara Fedida allegedly made about her and other black journalists at the network
A bombshell report over the weekend that claimed Barbara Fedida (pictured), the head of ABC News talent, had called Hostin 'low rent' and made other derogatory comments about Good Morning America host Robin Roberts
A bombshell report over the weekend that claimed Barbara Fedida (pictured), the head of ABC News talent, had called Hostin 'low rent' and made other derogatory comments about Good Morning America host Robin Roberts
Sunny Hostin responds after ABC exec made 'racist comments'
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time1:00
Fullscreen
Need Text
Fedida, the head of ABC News talent, was placed on administrative leave while the network investigates allegations that she made racist and sexist comments to staffers about employees of color.  
'To say that she's an abusive figure is an understatement,' one source told Huff Post, which broke the story on Saturday.
During Monday's episode of The View, lead host Whoopi Goldberg read aloud a statement Good Morning America co-host delivered earlier in the day.  
'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,' Goldberg stated. 
'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.' 

Goldberg then read a statement from Fedida, who has denied the allegations and maintained that she never engaged in 'abusive' or inappropriate behavior during her time with ABC News. 
'I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting, and promoting talented journalists of color,' Fedida said. 
'And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable.'
HuffPost reports that Fedida quipped that GMA anchor Robin Roberts  (pictured) wasn't forced by ABC News to 'pick cotton' when questioning the value of a potential pay raise
HuffPost reports that Fedida quipped that GMA anchor Robin Roberts  (pictured) wasn't forced by ABC News to 'pick cotton' when questioning the value of a potential pay raise
Hostin said that several of her ABC News colleagues, including The View co-hosts Meghan McCain and Joy Behar, had reached out to her following the HuffPost report.  
'I thank you all for that, but again, this has got to stop, and I just look forward to changes,' Hostin said.
Behar responded by saying she is 'very sorry' to see Hostin hurt by Fedida's alleged remarks.  
'I think it's great that ABC is doing an intensive investigation, this type of thing has to be rooted out and we'll see what happens,' Behar said.
McCain, who has frequently clashed with other members of the panel including Hostin, added that The View has 'zero tolerance' for racism and discrimination.
'I am disgusted by these allegations,' McCain said. 'When you attack one of us, you're attacking all of us and I stand and support Sunny throughout all of this.'
Goldberg chimed in to say she knows Fedida personally as she called for a thorough investigation.  
'I don't think she's a racist, everything I know about her doesn't say that she has this in her, but I will say one of the things everyone should always make sure we say, and I say it all the time, is let’s find out,' Goldberg said. 
'If it's true, she's gone but if it's not, let's find out what's going on.'
Hostin said that several of her ABC News colleagues, including The View co-hosts Meghan McCain (bottom right) and Joy Behar (top right), had reached out to her following the report
Hostin said that several of her ABC News colleagues, including The View co-hosts Meghan McCain (bottom right) and Joy Behar (top right), had reached out to her following the report
Meghan McCain (pictured) said she was 'disgusted' by the allegations against Fedida
Whoopi Goldberg (pictured) noted that she knows Fedida personally and called for a full investigation
Meghan McCain (left) said she was 'disgusted' by the allegations against Fedida. Whoopi Goldberg (right) noted that she knows Fedida personally and called for a full investigation
The HuffPost piece outlined a number of disturbing remarks made by Fedida, who is said to have more than a dozen human resources complaints against her and was the subject of a human resources investigation in 2016. 
The investigation led ABC News to hire an executive coach, sources claimed.
One incident raised in the report alleges that Fedida made a racially offensive quip towards Roberts, an African-American journalist who's co-anchored Good Morning America for 15 years. 
In 2018, Roberts reportedly asked for a pay raise as part of her contract renewal with the network.
Fedida, in a meeting with colleagues discussing the contract, reportedly felt Roberts' paycheck was more than enough and questioned what else she could possibly want.
It wasn't as if ABC Network was forcing Roberts to 'pick cotton', she reportedly said, according to a source who witnessed the incident.
Two additional sources who had heard about the alleged incident also confirmed the event with HuffPost.
ABC News said in a statement: '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'
ABC News said in a statement: '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'
Two years after the alleged quip about Roberts, Fedida's presence remained so 'toxic' that sources claimed leaving the network was like fleeing an abusive marriage. 
The allegations are especially disturbing given the fact that Fedida oversees that network's diversity and inclusion efforts.
The company has reportedly spent millions of dollars in confidential settlements with staff and former talent, including at least one that involved racial discrimination.  
A company holiday luncheon that took place after a series of mass shootings was the alleged scene of another offensive remark by Fedida.
While there, she reportedly asked employees, all of whom reported to her, which ABC News staffer they believed was most likely to be an active shooter inside the building.
In other instances, sources told Huff Post that she repeatedly referred to female staffers as 'c****'.  
Fedida allegedly said of reporter Kendis Gibson, a black man, that ABC News 'spends more on toilet paper than we ever would on him'.
Gibson has since left ABC News and works for MSNBC.
More than a dozen interviews alleged that Fedida, who is in charge of diversity and inclusion, would harbor animosity at those who pushed for such efforts.
She reportedly did not show interest in the National Association of Black Journalists or their annual convention, which fosters potential recruiting and mentoring.
Fedida rarely attended that event, according to sources, in a large departure from the inclusion efforts of other networks.
Top talent executives from NBC News attend the NABJ convention each year to offer advice and critique news reels. 
NBC News' head of talent has only missed two NABJ conventions in 30 years, a source familiar with attendance told Huff Post.  
In the summer of 2016, a group of African-American employees with ABC News, including Mara Schiavocampo, pulled together a detailed letter to the current network president James Goldston over exclusion.
The allegations are especially disturbing given the fact that Fedida (pictured) oversees that network's diversity and inclusion efforts. The company has reportedly spent millions of dollars in confidential settlements with staff and former talent, including at least one that involved racial discrimination
The allegations are especially disturbing given the fact that Fedida (pictured) oversees that network's diversity and inclusion efforts. The company has reportedly spent millions of dollars in confidential settlements with staff and former talent, including at least one that involved racial discrimination
The network was preparing to hold a town hall with then-President Barack Obama about race relations in the United States.
None of the staffers involved in the town hall were black, prompting journalists to create an advocacy group, according to HuffPost.
One of the letter's listed goals was for a black producer to be on every show and be involved in interviews for black job candidates.
Once the letter become known to Fedida, she reportedly dubbed it 'the Black manifesto'.
An initial meeting between the advocacy group, Goldston and Fedida was allegedly fraught with tension.
At a second meeting, attended by Robin Roberts, Goldston claimed that some staffers were pushing back at the requests made in the letter.
Roberts allegedly responded: 'Were they carrying torches and chanting: "You will not replace us?"'
The phrase, often used by white supremacists, was created by white supremacist philosopher Renaud Camus and chorused by neo-Nazi's at the 2017 Unite the Right rally.
Roberts reportedly provided a list of qualified black journalists for positions at the network, but ABC News did not take her suggestions seriously.
ABC News said in a statement to Huff Post: 'James and Barbara welcomed the opportunity to hear from this group and meet with them regularly. These conversations have led to positive change in the news division. '
Last Thursday, a group of black journalists reportedly held a video conference with Fedida and Goldston to express discontent over the network's coverage of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.
They also expressed concern over ABC's efforts to hire diversity.
'My personal experience with Barbara Fedida is that she is not racist. I know what racism looks, smells and sounds like. Barbara Fedida is not any of those things. But I am respectful of other colleagues who have had a different experience,' Bryan Pitt, a black ABC News anchor, told Huff Post. 
Mara Schiavocampo (pictured) was allegedly one of the journalists involved in a letter geared at ABC News executives over lack of diversity in the newsroom
Mara Schiavocampo (pictured) was allegedly one of the journalists involved in a letter geared at ABC News executives over lack of diversity in the newsroom 
ABC reporter Mara Schiavocampo talks about achieving success
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time0:21
Fullscreen
Need Text
According to sources, Schiavocampo's involvement in the letter and her role as leader of the advocacy group reportedly made her a target for Fedida.
Fedida is accused of making inappropriate comments at Schiavocampo behind her back.
Then in February 2017, ABC News decided to not renew Schiavocampo's contract, but she was not told until July 2017. Her contact did not expire until 2018. 
Schiavocampo approached ABC News with a legal claim, including allegations of racial discrimination by Fedida.
The two reached a financial settlement and Schiavocampo signed a nondisclosure and a nondisparagement agreement 
Fedida's career with ABC News began in 1989, when she served as a production associate for Peter Jennings. She held various producer roles until she was promoted to director of standards and practices in 2001. 
She was later named head of talent recruitment and development.
According to Huff Post, Fedida's role with the company extends far beyond her job with talent.  
They allege that Fedida is more akin to Goldston's deputy and takes care of various tasks that he doesn't want to deal with.
She reportedly held a similar role with the network's previous president, Ben Sherwood.
'There were a lot of things James and Ben didn't want to deal with, and Barbara was always willing to handle them,' one source claimed.
Sources cited Tanya Menton, a Walt Disney Co. staffer who serves as vice president of litigation, as one reason Fedida has remained after the series of allegations.
Menton has reportedly been involved in settlement negotiations for Fedida and other network executives. She's also handled human resource complaints against Fedida, according to sources. 
Huff Post said reporting for the piece included interviewing 34 sources over the course of six months. The sources in Huff post's report spoke with anonymity due to fear of retaliation from Fedida and ABC News executives, nondisclosure deals or contract stipulations about speaking to the press on record without prior authorization.
A group of black journalists reportedly held a video conference with Fedida and ABC News president James Goldston (pictured) over their coverage of protests and George Floyd
A group of black journalists reportedly held a video conference with Fedida and ABC News president James Goldston (pictured) over their coverage of protests and George Floyd
'This is the type of racism that black people deal with every day': The View host Sunny Hostin says she was 'hurt' by claims that suspended ABC News executive Barbara Fedida called her 'low rent' 'This is the type of racism that black people deal with every day': The View host Sunny Hostin says she was 'hurt' by claims that suspended ABC News executive Barbara Fedida called her 'low rent' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:23 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.