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ABC News Executive Barbara Fedida Fired Over Alleged Racist Remarks Made Against Robin Roberts and Others

Afouda Fortune
Jul 23, 2020
02:30 P.M.

Fedida, who was the senior vice-president of talent relations and business affairs at ABC News has been relieved of her position after investigations confirm that she made racially insensitive comments.

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It was announced on Monday that 52-year old top News executive at ABC News Barbara Fedida who had been issued an administrative leave pending an investigation, for allegedly making racially insensitive comments, will no longer be a part of the company.

TV personality Robin Roberts at the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. | Photo: Getty Images

TV personality Robin Roberts at the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. | Photo: Getty Images

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As noted by ABC News, the allegations were first reported in a story by HuffPost where a number of unnamed sources had accused Fedida of making derogatory remarks to several members of staff at ABC News and also making an allegedly racist comment about Robin Roberts, the "Good Morning America" tv show host.

Ms. Barbara has maintained through her attorney that the claims about her were not only heartbreaking but also incredibly misleading as "she had always championed diversity during her tenure."

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In an email sent out on Monday, Rice had informed the staff of Ms. Barbara's departure, stating that the erstwhile executive did in fact make many of the racially insensitive comments which she had been accused of and managed people in a rough manner.

The decision to let Fedida go came after an investigation undertaken by law firm Proskauer Rose, the findings of which revealed, in the words of Mr Peter Rice, Chairman of Walt Disney Television, that the executive was unfit for a leadership role and as such could no longer remain in the company.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Rice has hinted that the company intends to restructure the position formerly held by Ms. Barbara, such that business affairs will become a separate office from talent relations and recruitment, with each having its own head.

As regards that, USA today noted that the article by Huffpost had brought up a discussion between Fedida and Robin Robert relating to negotiations for Robert's contract renewal, during which Fedida had remarked that the network after all wasn't asking Roberts to 'pick cotton'.

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According to The New York Times, Fedida who worked with ABC News for the greater part of her career in television network spanning roughly two decades — had played a role in the choice of on-air talent for a number of prominent programs for the network like “Good Morning America,” and "Nightline."

This may be looked upon as a welcome development as it was observed by HuffPost that Fedida's role and influence far exceeded her title, which led to her holding a lot of sway and even acting, in a sense as a deputy to James Goldston and Sher Herwood — presidents of ABC Network.

Ms. Barbara has maintained through her attorney that the claims about her were not only heartbreaking but also incredibly misleading as "she had always championed diversity during her tenure."

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