Tucker Carlson producer's discrimination claims go beyond Dominion scandal

Meg James, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

A Fox News producer's discrimination lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corp. provides a wider glimpse into the network's alleged cultural problems, dealings with prominent Republicans and finger-pointing following a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit.

Abby Grossberg, who has worked in TV news for two decades, sued Fox, Fox News, Tucker Carlson and several producers late Monday, alleging the network is rife with sexist, misogynistic and abusive behavior.

Grossberg's lawsuit alleges discrimination based on gender, religion and disability. She alleges that "constant bullying and gaslighting" caused her "so much stress and anxiety that her stomach ulcers flared up and she was in excruciating pain."

The 79-page lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, raises questions about whether Fox News has sufficiently modernized its workplace culture since co-founder Roger Ailes was forced out in 2016 amid allegations of sexual harassment, first raised by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Other prominent Fox News figures have since toppled, including former prime-time star Bill O'Reilly and Eric Bolling, a former host of Fox News Specialists.

"Fox News Media engaged an independent outside counsel to immediately investigate the concerns raised by Ms. Grossberg, which were made following a critical performance review," the network said in a statement.


People close to Fox News say the network has made moves to improve the corporate culture, installing Suzanne Scott as chief executive in 2018 — the only female chief in the network's more than 25-year history. They credit her with increasing the number of women on her executive team.

Grossberg's complaint contains allegations that Fox lawyers pressured her to provide misleading testimony in Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit. Fox News strenuously denies her claims.

The conservative cable news channel has been accused of knowingly promoting falsehoods by former President Donald Trump and his surrogates about the 2020 election being stolen with the help of Dominion voting machines and software. There was a separate hearing Tuesday in Delaware to begin to weigh the merits of that lawsuit.

"Her allegations in connection with the Dominion case are baseless and we will vigorously defend Fox against all of her legal claims which have no merit," Fox News said in its statement.


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