It is starting to feel like another week means another accusation or lawsuit leveled against Fox News Channel as today another on-air talent hit the outlet with legal action. Less that a week after a potential racial discrimination class action was filed against FNC, Diana Falzone has hit the channel with a gender and disability discrimination suit.
“Falzone was demotcd, marginalized, humiliated and discriminated against by Fox News because she is a woman,” says the unspecified damages and declaration of a violation of NYC’s Human Rights Law complaint. Called “the face of FoxNews.com” and a frequent guest on Fox & Friends, Hannity and Fox Business shows since 2013, Falzone says she was yanked off air and the site after penning a supervisor approved post about having endometriosis in January 2017. “Falzone was demoted, marginalized, humiliated and discriminated against by Fox News because she suffers from endometriosis,” the filing in NY Supreme Court adds (read it here).
“Shortly after the op-ed ran, Falzone was informed by her supervisor Kaplan that, upon instructions from the ‘Second Floor,’ she was permanently banned from ever appearing on-air on any Foxnews.com, Fox News Network, Fox Business News Network or any other Fox News medium and would never again be permitted to host her own shows or conduct her own interviews,” the filing adds with that “Second Floor” reference being to FNC executives like current co-Presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, who took over in August 2016. “A Foxnews.com producer, Justin Craig, later informed the production staff that Falzone was also prohibited from doing voiceovers, even for programs or stories she wrote or originated,” Falzone’s jury demanding complaint also says, as well as calling the ban on her appearing on-air as having as “devastating impact” on her career.
Fox News did not respond to request for comment on this latest lawsuit. The action seeks compensation for Falzone for “all back and future loss of wages, lost income, benefits, retirement losses, pain, suffering, stress, humiliation, menial anguish, emotional harm and personal physical injury and physical sickness, as well as damage to her reputation, damage to career path, and loss of income stemming therefrom.”
Part of the reason the cable newser may be weary to comment is that Fazone is represented by Nancy Erika Smith. That’s the same attorney who represented Gretchen Carlson in her successful sexual harassment action last summer that saw the resignation of FNC boss Roger Ailes and a $20 million settlement for the ex-Fox & Friends co-host. Smith is also representing ex-The Five contributor Julie Roginsky in her April 3 filed sexual harassment and retaliation suit against FNC, Ailes and the current bosses.
“Once Diana disclosed her condition, Fox executives decided she no longer conformed to their image of on-air women as ‘physically perfect’,” said Smith in a blunt statement on Monday. “Behind closed doors they passed judgment on her, discriminated against her for being a woman with a chronic reproductive illness, and punished her for having a protected disability.”