Former chief Roger Ailes and primetime host Bill O'Reilly are gone, but Fox News still has very big problems.
According to New York Magazine, 7 additional black employees are joining a racial discrimination lawsuit against the network alleging that their complaints were ignored by network executives.
More disturbingly, these employees say racism in the workplace extended far beyond a pattern of ignoring racist rhetoric in the office. The new complaint says a Fox executive forced black employees to participate in some kind of cartoonishly-racist Mandingo fantasy.
According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, [former comptroller Judy Slater] demanded that black female employees hold “arm wrestling matches’” with white female employees in her office, just down the hall from Ailes’s office on the second floor of Fox headquarters. “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 says, referring to the practice of paying black men to fight blindfolded at carnivals for white spectators’ entertainment. The lawyers argue that Efinger bragged about wanting to “fight” a black employee.
This seemingly-accurate meme introduced into public consciousness by The Simpsons in 2010 may need to be revised. Fox News is racist, it's not just number one with racists. And it's not just casually or fleetingly racist, it's hardcore; it's Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie racist.
And I don't say this is "cartoonish" to make light of it. This is more audacious than anything I would have imagined.