A letter drafted by former Fox News Network employees suing their past employer alleges that black employees were forced to arm wrestle their white co-workers.
The seven former employees behind the letter are set to join a lawsuit that alleges "top-down racial harassment" is prominent behind the scenes at the popular news network.
The initial suit was filed by Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright in March and focuses on reported "top-down racial harassment." It is leveled primarily against Fox News comptroller, Judith Slater, and alleges racial discrimination and harassment against Brown, Wright and other marginalized employees.
None of these claims have been proven in court.
The letter, obtained by New York Magazine and initially sent to the network's lawyers, paints the picture of a dysfunctional and toxic work environment. The letter makes the claim that Slater demanded her black employees hold arm wrestling matches with white employees.
"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 reads, according to the New York article.
The lawsuit alleges that Slater also stated that all black men were "women beaters," that they wanted to hurt white people, and mocked the speech patterns of black employees. Slater's employment was terminated from Fox News after the allegations were raised. The lawsuit also extends to other employees who are also alleged to have engaged in the behaviour and allowed it to continue.
In a statement at the time of Slater's firing, the network stated that, "there is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News."
The allegations come at a time where a magnifying glass is being placed on the work culture of the news network, after several high profile employees made disgraced exits.
Recently the network's shining star, Bill O'Reilly, was canned after reports emerged that he had settled numerous lawsuits that allege sexual harassment—action was taken after a large contingent of advertisers pulled their work from O'Reilly's show. Prior to that, long-time head of the network, Roger Ailes, took leave among accusations of sexual harassment.
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