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Following investigation of racism, ABC News executive Barbara Fedida exits company

2020-07-22

Barbara Fedida has lost her job.

The high-ranking ABC News executive, who was under investigation after allegations of racism and other problematic workplace behavior, is no longer employed by the Walt Disney Company.

On Monday, staffers were notified in a memo from Peter Rice, chairman of Walt Disney Television, Variety reported.

“The investigation substantiated that Ms. Fedida did make some of the unacceptable racially insensitive comments attributed to her,” Rice wrote. “It also substantiated that Ms. Fedida managed in a rough manner and, on occasion, used crass and inappropriate language.”

“Lastly, the investigation found no basis for the claims that Ms. Fedida was the subject of dozens of HR complaints and that ABC News spent millions of dollars in confidential settlements related to Ms. Fedida, as alleged in some press accounts,” he added.

In June, the company suspended her, following a Huffington Post exposé on Fedida, who lauded over her role as the senior vice president of talent relations and business affairs at the network.

The outlet reported how the longtime executive held clout and sway over how and where resources were allocated inside the news division, which can factor into how stories are covered.

Sources for the article – consisting of 34 former and current employees who were unidentified – recounted tales of how Fedida allegedly made comments about “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts “picking cotton,” and how former overnight anchor and SUNY Oswego graduate Kendis Kenrick Gibson was being paid less than what the company paid for toilet paper.

She also reportedly described former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Sunny Hostin, who co-hosts “The View” as “low rent,” according to the HuffPost.

The former CBS News executive allegedly was heard by staffers openly using the c-word and also accused of having been actively trying to dismantle diversity and inclusion efforts that were a significant part of her job description.

The investigation was spearheaded by Disney general counsel Alan Braverman with an outside law firm the company retained.

Fedida’s reign at ABC dates back to working as a staffer for anchor Peter Jennings in 1989 and rising in the ranks before leaving the network in 2005 for an executive position at CBS News.