Days after Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was fired over mounting sexual harassment allegations, seven more employees have come forward to join a racial discrimination lawsuit.
A letter sent to the network on behalf of former employees accuses senior officials of orchestrating arm wrestling with African-American employees in the accounting department. Two women, payroll manager Tichaona Brown and payroll coordinator Tabrese Wright, assert comptroller Judith Slater subjected them to “top-down racial harassment.”
Slater demanded the black employees hold “arm wrestling matches” with white colleagues, according to New York Magazine — a practice that an employee says goes back to the Jim Crow era when black men were paid to fight blindfolded at carnivals for white men’s entertainment.
“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 stated.
Slater also reportedly told her black colleagues that all black men were “women beaters” who wanted to hurt white people. The women also alleged the comptroller scolded them for “mispronouncing” words and questioned them about their children’s paternity, even asking one of the women if her three children all belonged to the same father.
The plaintiff also said the director of accounting at Fox News, Tammy Efinger, did nothing except giggle when Slater hurled racial insults at employees.
“Not once did Ms. Efinger step in or attempt to interfere with Ms. Slater’s outrageous conduct.” Instead, the letter said, she “chose to laugh or giggle following Ms. Slater’s vitriol.”
Slater was later fired for her behavior.
Fox News has yet to comment on the complaints.
These new allegations comes in wake of high-profile departure of O’Reilly — who was reportedly given a $25 million payout — for allegedly sexually harassing five different women.