“Over the weekend, an article came out in the Huffington Post about ABC News senior vice president of talent and business affairs Barbara Fedida. The story, citing unnamed sources, alleged that Fedida said derogatory things about members of the staff, including an alleged racist comment about our colleague Robin Roberts,” Strahan said, referring to a report from Huffington Post's Yashar Ali, which laid out damning accusations of Fedida and her treatment of black journalists at the network.
Strahan, who provided the facts but didn’t offer a personal opinion on the situation, then read a statement from ABC News and a statement Fedida provided the network.
"There are deeply disturbing allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we have placed Barbara Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation. These allegations do not represent the values and culture of ABC News, where we strive to make everyone feel respected in a thriving, diverse and inclusive workplace," Strahan read, which echoed the ABC News statement given to Fox News on Saturday.
Strahan then read Fedida’s statement, which said: “I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting, and promoting talented journalists of color. And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable."
Ali wrote that he had spoken with "34 sources over the course of six months" comprised of current and former ABC News staff.
In 2018, during a contentious meeting about renewing “Good Morning America” Roberts's contract, Fedida reportedly "asked what more Roberts could want and said it wasn’t as if the network was asking Roberts to 'pick cotton.'"
"GMA" weekend co-anchors Dan Harris, Eva Pilgrim and Whit Johnson previously showed their support for Roberts on Sunday.
"We here at the desk also want to make something clear, which is that we express our respect and our affection for our friend and our colleague Robin Roberts," Harris told viewers on Sunday morning.
Fedida also reportedly referred to "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin as "low rent."
Another source told Ali about a comment Fedida said about then-ABC News journalist Kendis Gibson, a black anchor, that ABC “spends more on toilet paper than we ever would on him."
According to the report, Fedida would also refer to women as "c---s" openly in the office.
Fedida began working at ABC News back in 1989 as a staffer for anchor Peter Jennings and had risen in the ranks. After leaving the Disney-owned network in 2005 for an executive position at CBS News, Fedida returned to ABC News in 2011.
"Normally, a talent executive in a network news division is responsible for finding new talent, and developing and working with the network’s current talent. Fedida does all that at ABC News, but her role and influence go far beyond that. She is essentially a deputy to [ABC News President James] Goldston and has been tasked with being an enforcer and dealing with all of the difficult issues he doesn’t want to handle," Ali wrote.
According to Ali, "dozens" of HR complaints were made against Fedida over the years and her conduct "has led to millions in confidential settlements, including at least one settlement involving allegations of racial discrimination."