In an emotional press conference, Fox News anchor Kelly Wright outlined his reasons for joining a group of employees of the network in a class action lawsuit claiming discrimination against its African-American staff.
Wright, who has been with Fox for 14 years, said his employer is guilty of fostering a culture where diversity is hindered and that it “failed to be fair and balanced for all of our employees regardless of race, gender, faith, creed or color.”
At the press conference, held at the New York offices of his attorney, Douglas Wigdor, Wright said that he had been made to endure racist taunts and marginalization based on the color of his skin. “I prayed about it, I cried over it,” Wright said. “I said, ‘I can no longer sit in silence, collect my paycheck, and act like I didn’t experience racial bias on my own level — an on-air personality.’”
As many as 10 current and past employees have filed suit in New York against the network, accusing it of “intolerable and outrageous racial discrimination.”
Wright himself, who joined the suit on Tuesday, said he had tried to do programming to reach out to a more diverse audience, but was held back by his employers, who he says “overlook the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace….We can definitely do better.”
The original lawsuit was brought in late March by two Black payroll employees who accused former comptroller Judy Slater (who was fired in February) of years of racial harassment and that Tammy Efinger, the accounting director, was a participant. Others, joined the complaint this week, making similar charges against the company.
Fox News issued a statement on Wednesday denying any allegations of racial discrimination. “We will vigorously defend these cases,” the statement said.