Thursday, September 29, 2022

‘It Was a Tough Weekend For Me’: Sunny Hostin Responds to Being Called ‘Low Rent’ by ABC News Exec (Report)

Sunny Hostin on The View
Sunny Hostin responds to alleged racist remarks from an ABC exec (June 15, 2020)

*ABC News was rocked over the weekend by a must-read HuffPost report that its senior vice president of talent and business affairs, Barbara Fedida, has a history of saying racist remarks about the network’s black journalists, including “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts and “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin.

In 2018, during a contentious meeting about renewing Roberts’s contract, Fedida reportedly “asked what more Roberts could want and said it wasn’t as if the network was asking Roberts to ‘pick cotton,'” according to Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali. Fedida also reportedly referred to Sunny Hostin as “low rent.” Another source told Ali about a comment Fedida said about then-ABC News journalist Kendis Gibson, a black anchor, that ABC “spends more on toilet paper than we ever would on him.”

Fedida was reportedly dismissive of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) despite the enactment of diversity at the network being part of her job. Unlike network executives from other networks, she would skip the organization’s annual convention. A letter from NABJ reportedly laying out ambitions to increase diversity, including having one senior black producer on every program and interviewing black candidates for all job openings, was referred to by Fedida and other executives as a “black manifesto.”

According to Ali, “dozens” of HR complaints were made against Fedida over the years and her conduct “has led to millions in confidential settlements, including at least one settlement involving allegations of racial discrimination.” Ali wrote that he had spoken with “34 sources over the course of six months” comprised of current and former ABC News staff.

ABC News released a statement announcing Fedida was put on leave pending an independent investigation of the claims. Fedida also released a statement calling the allegations “heartbreaking and incredibly misleading.”

Roberts’ co-host Michael Strahan on Monday addressed the controversy on “GMA” without offering a personal opinion. He read the statement from ABC News and the statement Fedida provided the network.

Hostin, however, took several minutes to respond Monday morning on “The View.” Watch below or click here to view on Twitter.

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