ABC News Exec to Exit Following Investigation Over Racially Insensitive Remarks

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The results of the investigation into alleged conduct by Barbara Fedida were revealed in an email to ABC News employees from Walt Disney Television chairman Peter Rice.

ABC News senior vp Barbara Fedida will depart the network following an investigation into racially insensitive remarks she was alleged to have made about colleagues. 

The results of the investigation, conducted by outside counsel, were revealed in an email to ABC News employees from Walt Disney Television chairman Peter Rice Monday afternoon.

"The investigation substantiated that Ms. Fedida did make some of the unacceptable racially insensitive comments attributed to her. It also substantiated that Ms. Fedida managed in a rough manner and, on occasion, used crass and inappropriate language," Rice wrote in the memo. "Lastly, the investigation found no basis for the claims that Ms. Fedida was the subject of dozens of HR complaints and that ABC News spent millions of dollars in confidential settlements related to Ms. Fedida, as alleged in some press accounts."

Yashar Ali, writing for HuffPost last month, reported that Fedida, who led talent relations and business affairs for ABC News, made an inappropriate remark about Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts in 2018, in the midst of contentious contract negotiations. Ali also outlined other remarks Fedida reportedly made, and wrote about a memo prepared by Black ABC News employees advocating for more inclusivity at the network.

According to Rice's memo, which an ABC source shared with The Hollywood Reporter, the network will be making changes to its organizational structure in the wake of Fedida's departure, and plans to "enhance" its diversity and inclusion efforts.

"[G]iven the manner in which Ms. Fedida wielded the power of her position, we’ve made a determination that the position needs to be restructured," Rice wrote. "Going forward, business affairs will be a separate function from talent relations and recruitment, each with its own leader. Second, we understand that there is serious work that needs to be done to enhance the culture of inclusion and make further progress on our goal of attracting, fostering and retaining diverse talent. We will provide more details about these initiatives later this week."