by Lloyd Grove
Originally published: April 26, 2017
“This hurts,” Fox News Channel anchor Kelly Wright declared. “This hurts,” he repeated, while appearing at a press conference Wednesday with nine other current and former Fox News employees who are claiming systemic racial discrimination at the top-rated, right-leaning cable news outlet.
“We literally have a handful of black and Latino reporters, and only one black male anchor—which in 2017 shouldn’t be the case,” said Wright, one of very few black anchors at the network—and the only male African American who presides over his own Fox News show. (Juan Williams is a regular on The Five, and Charles Payne hosts a Fox Business Network show while frequently subbing on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News program.) Wright added that the situation, along with the alleged denigration of minority employees toiling behind the scenes, is “inexcusable and indefensible” and the result of “systemic and institutional racial bias.”
Wright, an ordained minister and gospel singer, was occasionally near tears and struggling to keep his composure as he explained why he has joined a dozen minority colleagues in a class action lawsuit filed Tuesday night in Bronx County’s State Supreme Court against Fox News, its parent company 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s general counsel, Dianne Brandi and its former comptroller, Judith Slater.