Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fox News Under Fire: Watters Sent on Vacation After 2 Days, Kelly Wright Joins Lawsuit, “Law & Order” Airs Show Based on Sex Scandal

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It’s a bad week at Fox News, and not just because Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly are still in the news after leaving in disgrace over sex harassment charges.

Jesse Watters, reviled and obnoxious yet celebrated Fox News personality, has been sent on vacation just two days into the debut of his show “The Five” at 9pm. Watters is being criticized for an obscene gesture he made after showing a clip of Ivanka Trump. Frankly, it’s amazing he wasn’t fired on the spot by James Murdoch. It could be, like O’ Reilly, he won’t be returning from this sudden vacation. The gesture comes at the end of that clip:

Then Kelly Wright, much respected correspondent and one of the few African Americans at Fox, joined a racial discrimination suit against the network. For Wright to do this is fairly stunning. He’s been loyal to the company and never said a word against them. But he’s the only black anchor on Fox News, and he says that his repeated suggestions to broaden the range of reporting there has “fallen on deaf ears.”

At a press conference yesterday, Wright said: “It is indefensible and inexcusable when there are so many talented black men and women who are more than capable to fulfill that role. We have a culture of systemic and institutional racial bias… I can no longer sit in silence, collect my paycheck and act like I didn’t experience racial bias on my own level as an on-air personality. Behind closed doors I found myself confronted with race albeit in a more subtle but in a demeaning way and marginalizing my own growth and my development that would not only benefit me but benefit others.

And then last night, NBC aired the “Law & Order SVU” episode “The Newsroom” in which a national news anchor is accused of sexual harassment. The episode didn’t get a lot of promotion but it was excellent. Whatever its ratings were, “The Newsroom” will now be in the syndication system. As everyone knows, “SVU” is a constant in reruns. It’s not bio-degradable. All “Law & Order” lasts forever.

Here’s Kelly Wright’s press conference

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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