Sunny Hostin on being called ‘low rent’: ‘Systemic racism touches everything’

The View co-host Sunny Hostin responded on Monday to racist and insulting comments allegedly made about her by a top ABC News executive.

“It was a tough weekend for me,” Hostin said. “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.”

On Saturday, HuffPost published a report about ABC News senior vice president of talent and business affairs Barbara Fedida, detailing a history of racist behavior toward ABC on-air talent and staffers.

During a contract negotiation with ABC News anchor Robin Roberts, Fedida allegedly countered Roberts’s request for a raise by saying it wasn’t like the network was asking her to “pick cotton.”

ABC News issued a statement to HuffPost calling the allegations “disturbing” and put Fedida on administrative leave while it conducts an investigation.

In a statement from her attorney, Fedida defended her track record of hiring diverse talent and called the HuffPost report full of “misleading claims.”

In a follow-up tweet to his article, HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali said Fedida also disparaged Hostin, calling her “low rent.”

On The View, which is a part of ABC News, Hostin addressed those comments. “To reference me, someone who’s been very open about growing up in public housing, as being ‘low rent,’” said Hostin, “tells me that systemic racism touches everything and everyone in our society, regardless of social stature, no one is immune. It is the type of racism that black people deal with every single day, and it has to stop.”

The claims about Fedida’s behavior come as the country wrestles with racism amid protests stemming from the killing of George Floyd, which still fill the streets of many cities.

And while Hostin’s co-hosts vocally supported her, Whoopi Goldberg cast doubt on the allegations against Fedida. “I know Barbara Fedida. I don’t think she’s a racist. Everything I know about her doesn’t say that she has this in her, but I will say that … let’s find out,” said Goldberg. “Because if it’s true, she’s out.”

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