ABC News placed executive Barbara Fedida on administrative leave Saturday (June 13) while the network investigates allegations that she made racist remarks about Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts and other Black employees.
A HuffPost report prompted the probe. The outlet based its investigation on interviews with 34 anonymous sources over six months.
During a 2018 contract negotiation, Fedida was apparently outraged that Roberts asked for a salary increase. She said that it wasn’t as if ABC was asking Roberts to “pick cotton,” according to the news outlet.
Roberts is a highly regarded broadcast journalist who has won many awards for her work, including several Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Award, and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Sources told HuffPost that Fedida has a long history of making racist comments to her subordinates. She has more than 12 human resources complaints in her file, yet she had continued working at the network.
“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,” the network said in a statement. “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.”
Here’s ABC’s on air comment about the situation: