Fox News fires host accused of 'leaving room because IT technician was black'

Sacking is another high profile dismissal for the network, which has been engulfed in controversy 

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The Independent US

Fox News grandee Bob Beckel has been fired after allegedly making racist remarks towards a black employee.

The Five host has a history of attracting controversy, having once referred to Chinese nationals as “Chinamen” live on air.

In addition to a number of sexual abuse allegations, the network is also facing a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by 23 current and former employees.

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The lawyers handling the race case, Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christense, said Mr Beckel was fired because of an offensive comment he made to a black IT technician who came to service his computer earlier this week. 

Mr Wigdor said Mr Beckel “stormed out of his office” when the man came to fix his machine, “telling our client that he was leaving his office because he was black”.

After the man made a formal complaint, Mr Beckel tried to intimidate him into withdrawing it, the lawyers added. Fox has denied this aspect of the incident took place, CNN reported.

“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” a statement by Fox News said. It reportedly followed a 48 hour internal investigation. 

Mr Wigdor continued: “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.”

The sacking comes just one day after the death of network founder Roger Ailes, who died after a fall at his Florida home.

Yesterday, Mr Beckel tweeted: “Fifteen years ago I was out of work after a fake scandal. Roger Ailes gave me work, a great man with a big heart may he now Rest In Peace.”

Mr Ailes was the subject of a sexual harassment case, in addition to another high profile Fox News figure, Bill O’Reilly. 

Both men denied the claims but were ultimately ousted from Fox News. 

A Fox News spokesperson said: "Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.

“As Mr Wigdor knows, Fox News made the decision to terminate Mr Beckel after a prompt and thorough investigation. 

"No one tried to persuade Mr Wigdor’s client to withdraw his complaint.”