Fox News has done it again.
Melissa Francis, regularly seen on the Fox News show “Outnumbered,” has been off the air for over a month and is probably at the end of her run at the network.
The dates here are important to focus on.
Francis has not been seen on the program since Oct. 7.
A Fox News representative did not comment on her status, saying only that she is still an employee and its daytime programming is being revamped when asked by the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 22.
“Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes, including to its daytime lineup, and will launch new formats as appropriate after the election,” a representative for Fox News said on Oct. 22. “These changes are being made independent of any other ongoing matter.”
The LA Times reports that a source told them that Francis says she has been fired.
She has been working at the network with no contract for around a year. Francis previously filed a gender-based pay discrimination complaint against Fox News that has been lingering in arbitration, a person familiar with the proceedings said to The Times.
Now, fast forward to the current date.
There’s no update on Francis, why she has been off-air for over a month, and there’s no confirmation from Fox News about whether she has been fired or not.
Francis said two weeks ago that she was fired. Now, it seems as if that may be the case.
Networks don’t take one of their top hosts off the air for nearly 40 days if they plan on bringing her back.
— Stephen Battaglio (@SteveBattaglio) October 22, 2020
It seems as if this all centers around her pay disparity complaint.
The claim said that she was underpaid compare to the men who work with her, but neither the network nor Francis responded to Los Angeles Times questions about the claim.
The complaint from Francis came during a time where the network has been doing everything in its power to fix its workplace environment as it pertains to women after the firing of its founder and former CEO Roger Ailes. The former CEO was ousted in 2016 after sexual harassment claims were levied against by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. It also came after the firing of Bill O’Reilly over sexual harassment claims when he was the biggest star on the network.
To that end, Fox News has changed its mandatory harassment and discrimination prevention compliance training.
Just recently the network was given a certification from the research firm Great Places to Work and the network swiftly gave the ax to anchor Ed Henry after a female colleague accused him of sexual harassment.
“Longtime Fox News Channel and Fox Business host Melissa Francis claim that Dianne Brandi, the former General Counsel for the network who is now a consultant who deals with talent contracts (among other things), told her ‘men make more than women do, that’s just the way it works,’ when Francis complained about pay disparity between her and male counterparts,” reporter Yashar Ali said on his website.
“A source close to the situation said they don’t believe Brandi would have said anything like this and that it doesn’t sound like something she would say,” he said.