Fox News Channel says it has fired Beckel for making an insensitive remark to a black employee. After a four-month absence, reportedly to treat addiction to pain medication, Fox removed Beckel from The Five, its almost unwatchable roundtable of unfiltered idiocy, and showed no sympathy in the aftermath.
Douglas Wigdor, who is representing the African-American I.T. employee who complained about Beckel, said in a statement that Beckel "stormed out of his office" when the employee came to work on his computer, "telling our client that he was leaving his office because he was black". Beckel was not immediately available for comment.
The off-air exchange happened Tuesday night and was brought to the attention of Fox News' human resources department, according to The Los Angeles Times and An investigation was conducted and Beckel was informed of his termination on Friday. "As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week", Wigdor said. Fox denied that anyone tried to intimidate the employee and said Beckel had apologized. He worked briefly at CNN before returning to Fox News earlier this year. He had previously hosted "The Five" from 2011 to 2015.
Bill Shine, who was at the time Fox News' executive vice president of programming, said at the time that the network refused to be held "hostage" to his "personal issues". "Bob was missed by many fans of The Five, and we're happy to welcome him back to the show", Rupert Murdoch said at the time.