Sunny Hostin and the co-hosts of The View are addressing the alleged racist comments made from a top ABC News executive. Barbara Fedida, the Senior Vice President of Talent, Editorial Strategy, and Business Affairs for the news division, was accused in a HuffPost exposé of making several statements about top ABC talent including Hostin, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, and several others. Fedida has since been put on administrative leave while an independent company investigates the allegations.
According to the exposé, a witness claims that Fedida told Roberts, a black woman, during a contract negotiation that it was not as if the network was asking her to "pick cotton." Fedida also allegedly said of former ABC anchor Kendis Gibson that ABC “spends more on toilet paper than we ever would on him."
TheLos Angeles Times is also reporting that Fedida allegedly used the term "low rent" to describe Hostin.
On Monday's episode of The View, Hostin and co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and Meghan McCain spoke out about the allegations.
"It was a tough weekend for me, and I was really disappointed and saddened and hurt when I learned about the racist comments that were made, allegedly, about me, my colleagues, and my dear friends," Hostin said. "Because, if true, to reference Robin Roberts, who is one of the most respected and beloved journalists in our country, as 'picking cotton,' to reference me, someone who's been very open about having grown up in public housing, as being 'low rent'... tells me that systemic racism touches everything and everyone in our society regardless of social stature."
Hostin concluded that she looks "forward to changes."
McCain, who spoke with Hostin on the phone at length over the weekend, also defended her fellow co-host, taking a firm stance.
"She's in a lot of pain, and I am disgusted by these allegations as everyone is," McCain said. "And I just want to make one thing really clear, there's a lot of people who say a lot of things about these hosts and this show and the press, but when you attack one of us, you're attacking all of us. I stand and support Sunny throughout all of this in any way that you need, and I stand and support my colleagues at ABC who have been attacked by this."
Goldberg noted that she was surprised by the allegations against Fedida, who she knows personally.
"I know Barbara Fedida. I don't think she's a racist," Goldberg said. "Everything I know about her doesn't say that she has this in her, but I will say that one of the things that everyone should always make sure we say and I say it all the time is, let's find out. Because if it's true, she's gone."
Fedida released a statement after being put on administrative leave.
"I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting and promoting talented journalists of color," she said. "And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable."
These allegations against Fedida come as the fight against racial injustice continues across America and around the world.