UPDATE — 12:47 p.m. ET: A source with knowledge of the situation revealed additional details surrounding the abrupt firing of Fox News commentator Bob Beckel on Friday.
The source said an African-American IT staffer was working on Beckel’s computer when some sort of exchange occurred and the host made an insensitive remark. Beckel quickly apologized to the IT employee, but it clearly wasn’t enough to save his job.
Attorneys handling a racial discrimination lawsuit are representing the IT employee and provided a little more context in a joint statement:
Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, lawyers handling a growing racial discrimination lawsuit filed by current and former Fox employees, said in a joint statement that Beckel told one of their clients, a black IT worker, that he was leaving the office while the employee serviced his computer because the employee is black. When the IT worker filed a complaint, Beckel attempted to intimidate him to withdraw it, Wigdor and Christensen said.
Fox News responded to the allegations in a statement provided to IJR:
“As Mr. Wigdor knows, Fox News made the decision to terminate Mr. Beckel after a prompt and thorough investigation. His client raised the complaint to Kevin Lord, EVP Human Resources, on Tuesday evening via email and within 7 minutes Mr. Lord responded and began the investigation. Today, Fox News delivered that message to Mr. Beckel and facilitated an apology from Mr. Beckel to the employee minutes after he was terminated. No one tried to persuade Mr. Wigdor’s client to withdraw his complaint.”
Original story below.
Fox News fired outspoken liberal commentator Bob Beckel on Friday after he allegedly made an “insensitive remark” to a black employee.
The network released the following short statement to Variety:
“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”
While it isn’t known at this time what was actually said, knowing the nature of the news business, that will probably come out in good time.
Beckel was the sole liberal co-host of “The Five” before he left Fox News in 2015. He returned to the show in January just before it was moved to the valuable 9 p.m. time slot in the aftermath of Bill O’Reilly’s departure.
Beckel routinely struck fear into the hearts of live TV producers as he was never very disciplined in the art of self-censorship. On several occasions, he has accidentally dropped F-bombs and other obscenities on the air.