Former ABC Reporter Reveals Embattled Exec Barbara Fedida Nixed His Promotion over Race and Gender

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News broke Friday of a stunning report in HuffPost about an ABC News executive’s alleged history of racist remarks, which have led to her being placed on administrative leave while the allegations are investigated.


As Glenn Reynolds at our sister site PJ Media’s Instapundit asked Monday while posting the story, “WHY ARE OUR WOKE INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF RACISM AND SEXISM?”

The Hill reported:

Barbara Fedida, a senior ABC News executive in charge of talent….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.

Two other sources who were not in the room, but had knowledge of the situation also confirmed the exchange to the news outlet.

The report included several other, eyebrow-raising incidents that call into question Fedida’s judgment when making personnel decisions. Now, a journalist who previously worked at ABC News is revealing a conversation over a promotion with the exec which he says helped him decide to exit the network.

Elex Michaelson is now an anchor at Fox’s L.A. affiliate. He shared a story on his Twitter account Monday, which he’s “never said….publicly,” about his time at ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate, KABC (ABC7) where he worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor from 2010-2017, according to his Fox L.A. bio.


He wrote:

I’ve never said this publicly… In 2017, ABC7 recommended I become a network correspondent. Barbara Fedida told me: “You’re qualified. But you’re a white male & my bosses told me I can only hire women & minorities for the next couple years.

He continued:

Her blunt words were shocking & left me feeling powerless. I didn’t want to be blackballed in the industry so I didn’t complain or sue. Soon after, though, I did leave the company. Grateful reporters like .@yashar are bringing sunlight to this dark place in network TV.

He wrote:

My hope in sharing this is to show support for the victims of racism at ABC News. I also hope, going forward, this culture where race is so cavalierly & crudely discussed by executives with hiring & firing power…is over. We as a society…and as an industry…can do better.


Then he ended the thread by clarifying his reason for coming forward:

I also want to make clear there is TREMENDOUS value in having a diverse newsroom. Our viewers would be better served by having reporters & executives that looked like them. Political, religious, socioeconomic, racial, ethnic diversity in the room creates more accurate stories

Funny thing, though: affirmative action isn’t the law in the state of California. But progressives are trying to change that. According to the site, ACA 5 passed June 10 in the California legislature. The ballot measure would allow the voters to reinstate affirmative action, which Golden State voters scrapped in 1996 via Proposition 209. You probably won’t be surprised that universities are getting in the mix, too. The measure got an endorsement of the University of California system Monday, with a unanimous vote by its Board of Regents, CNN reported.


That said, I agree with Michaelson. News organizations are only bolstered by more varied voices and life experiences. But there’s one reason he didn’t mention: any form of affirmative action yields the opposite effect; it can leave the person who benefits from it and those who know or guess they got that role through it wondering if they were the best candidate. That can lead to mistrust and a less cooperative workplace than the one we all strive for. Though the intention of the policy sounds good on paper – helping those who haven’t gotten opportunities in the past – in the end, everyone loses.


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