ABC News executive placed on administrative leave after reports surface of insensitive, racist statements

The Huffington Post reports that dozens of sources agree that an ABC News executive created a racist and toxic work environment. ABC told The Huffington Post “we have placed Barbara Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation.”

Barbara Fedida, a senior ABC News executive in charge of talent, is on administrative leave after a HuffPost report that detailed an alleged extensive history of making racist remarks and allegedly fostering and enabling a toxic and abusive workplace.

Fedida, who oversees hiring and diversity programs for the network in her role as senior vice president, reportedly lashed out at “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts during contract negotiations in 2018.

Fedida told Roberts, who is Black, that it wasn’t as if the network was asking her to “pick cotton” after Roberts had asked for more money as part of her contract, according to a source that was in the room during the exchange, according to HuffPost. —The Hill

According to the Huffington Post (“‘To Say That She’s An Abusive Figure Is An Understatement’: At ABC News, Toxicity Thrives“),

In a statement from her attorney, Fedida said: “Throughout my career, I have been a champion for increased diversity in network news. Building a news division where everyone can thrive has been my life’s mission. I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting and promoting talented journalists of color. And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable.”