NEW YORK (AP) — A former financial executive at Fox News Channel says a racial discrimination lawsuit against her is "nothing more than a meritless and reprehensible money grab."
Lawyers for Judith Slater, who ran the accounting department at the network but was fired earlier this year when some employees alleged she ran a racially hostile environment, said in court papers filed Monday that their client sometimes used humor to lessen pressure at work.
Slater said that the main plaintiffs in the case — Tichaona Brown, Tabrese Wright and Monica Douglas — were trying to turn reality upside down by portraying a friendly relationship as hostile. In the original lawsuit, Slater was accused of racial hostility over several years, including discussing her physical fear of black people and mocking the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
Monday's motion said Brown and Douglas "regularly mocked Slater for her reserved appearance, her lack of knowledge about contemporary culture and the way she danced."
Douglas Wigdor, lawyer for the accusers, noted that Fox itself had referred to Slater's behavior as abhorrent.
"Any attempt to walk back that characterization and suggest that our clients were willing participants in this racist behavior is a classic and transparent attempt to somehow blame the victim," he said.
Several other former and present Fox employees have joined in the lawsuit. Monday's motion argues that two of the people should be dropped from the case.