NEW YORK, N.Y. — Outspoken liberal commentator Bob Beckel has been fired from the Fox News network after reportedly making a racist remark to a fellow co-worker, the network announced on Friday.
“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” a network spokesperson said in a short statement.
Beckel, who has had a history of profanity filled on-air outbursts, previously parted ways with the network in 2015 after sources at the media giant said network executives had had their fill of his “arrogant demands” while recovering from back surgery.
“We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold ‘The Five’ hostage to one man’s personal issues,” Bill Shine, the network’s then executive vice president of programming said in a statement at that time. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.”
However, in an effort to give the political pundit another go, Fox News brought Beckel back as co-host of “The Five” on a part time basis earlier this year. Although co-hosts Jesse Watters, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, and Kimberly Guilfoyle were initially leery, say sources, they cautiously welcomed the Trump critic back.
“Bob was missed by many fans of ‘The Five’ and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News Channel and its corporate parent, 21st Century Fox, in a prepared statement, in January.
A Fox News spokesperson refused to provide additional detail on the context of Beckel’s remarks or who the remark was directed toward, however, Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, lawyers who have recently filed a racial discrimination lawsuit on behalf of both current and former Fox employees, said in a joint statement that Beckel told one of their clients, a black IT worker, that he was leaving the room while the employee serviced his computer because the employee was “black”.
It has not yet been confirmed who would fill Beckel’s spot on “The Five”, but Juan Williams, who rotated with Beckel each week since the now fired correspondent’s return, is expected to make additional appearances until a permanent replacement is decided.