In light of the recently published article by Huffington Post, ABC News has placed Barbara Fedida, one of its senior executives, on Administrative leave following disturbing racist statements and insensitive comments brought forward by several unnamed sources.
Barbara Fedida who is currently the network’s Senior Vice President of Talent and Business Affairs is said to have made derogatory remarks about some ABC News staff including claims of a racist comment about Robin Robert’s ”Good Morning America”. The article, which cited 34 sources that comprised of current and former ABC News staff, also reported Fedida had once given derogatory remarks about Sunny Hostin and Kendis Gibson.
Fedida re-joined ABC News after she was brought in by Ben Sherwood, former president of ABC News’ Talent and Business Affairs department. Her position gave her strong say on any appointment ABC News made. Her role also gave her influence over the career paths of various journalists and correspondents on the network. Over the years, many of the staffers have come to see Fedida as the lieutenant of the other senior executives in ABC News.
Following the release of the post by Huffington Post, ABC news immediately placed Fedida on leave and released a statement to address the issue. The statement reads: “There are deeply disturbing allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we have placed Barbara Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation. These allegations do not represent the values and culture of ABC News, where we strive to make everyone feel respected in a thriving, diverse, and inclusive workplace”.
Fedida in a statement sent to Huffington Post by her attorney said: “Throughout my career, I have been a champion for increased diversity in network news. Building a news division where everyone can thrive has been my life’s mission. I am proud of my decades of work hiring, supporting, and promoting talented journalists of color. And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, the track record is well-documented and undeniable”.
Before rejoining the network in 2011, Barbara Fedida had worked as a producer for a couple of years at ABC News. She also worked as the Vice President of talent and development at CBS News for four years. Fedida has reported and developed specials and stories on trending news while working as a producer and many of the broadcasts have won both Emmy and Peabody Awards.
While investigations are still ongoing, it is safe to say Barbara Fedia is on thin ice right now.