Fox News shocked fans today by firing longtime The Five cohost Bob Beckel for a remark he made to an employee of color.
“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” a network spokesperson said in a brief statement obtained by CNN.
Beckel has not yet commented on this and it is not clear who will be replacing him.
Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, lawyers handling a growing racial discrimination lawsuit filed by current and former Fox employees, told reporters that Beckel had told a black IT worker that they are representing that he was leaving the office while the employee serviced his computer because the employee is black. After the employee filed a complaint, Wigdor and Christensen claimed that Beckel tried to intimidate him to withdraw it.
“As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week,” Wigdor and Christensen said.
Beckel had previously left Fox at the end of 2015 as he underwent back surgery. Bill Shine, who was at the time Fox News’ executive vice president of programming, said that the network was tired of being held “hostage” to Beckel’s “personal issues.”
“He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him,” Shine said in a statement then.
Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch shocked many by rehiring Beckel earlier this year, saying he was “missed by many fans of ‘The Five.’”
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