An employee of the Fox Business Network has sued the network, claiming host Larry Kudlow made racist and sexist remarks and accusing senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano of sexual harassment, in a complaint filed in New York.
The lawsuit from plaintiff John Fawcett was filed by Ty Clevenger, who is also representing the former Fox News anchor Ed Henry in a defamation lawsuit filed last month against the network and its CEO Suzanne Scott.
The complaint states that Fawcett first started working for Fox Business in 2019 as an entry-level production assistant for Lou Dobbs. After Dobbs’ show was canceled in February, Kudlow took over. According to the complaint, Kudlow “immediately” started to make “inappropriate” comments about women and minority groups during phone conferences, saying that he would like to have “a three-way” with anchor Sandra Smith and that he reporter Susan Li had a “nice way about her” and grunted.
In another news conference, in which Congressman Maria Elvira Salazar made an appearance to discuss immigration, Kudlow allegedly asked “Why don’t we just let Mexicans in?” going on to state that “we” need more “jalapeño pickers.” According to the complaint, Kudlow also made racist comments toward Congressman Byron Donalds, whose appearance was canceled that day.
The complaint says that Gary Schreier, the senior vice president for Fox Business, was present during all these conferences and didn’t make any indication that Ludlow’s comments were inappropriate.
The lawsuit also alleges that Napolitano had a history of sexually harassing young men at the network — among them Fawcett — but that Fox was dismissive toward his complaints and refused to investigate them.
The complaint is full of other allegations, including about newly hired female executives discriminating against male employees and making false claims toward them and about affairs between employees. The complaint also has a few errors, as it repeatedly refers to “Fox Business Network” as “Fox Business Channel” and misspells Dobbs’ name as “Loud Dobbs.”
When asked to comment on the situation, a spokesperson for Fox News Media told TheWrap that the company had “immediately” investigated the claims upon learning of them, saying that they are “completely baseless” and a “desperate attempt at a payday.”
“Upon first learning of John Fawcett’s allegations against Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Media immediately investigated the claims and addressed the matter with both parties. The network and Judge Napolitano have since parted ways,” the media company said in a statement to TheWrap. “We take all allegations of misconduct seriously, are committed to providing a safe, transparent, and collaborative workplace environment for all our employees and took immediate, appropriate action. Furthermore, the additional allegations laid out in this claim are completely baseless and nothing more than a desperate attempt at a payday by trying the case in the court of public opinion as the complaint does not meet the standards of the law. We will defend the matter vigorously in court.”