A powerful TV executive found herself on the unemployment line over alleged racist comments. This is the latest in a series of high-profile executive terminations for insulting Black people.
Paramount Pictures Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos announced Thursday in a memo to staff that he fired the studio’s TV president Amy Powell, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Several people raised concerns about Powell’s lengthy rant, which prompted an internal investigation. At least four people heard the executive make offensive remarks about Black people, including stereotyping African-American women as angry and jabbering on about Black children being raised in single parent homes.
Powell was discussing a new program that will feature a predominantly African-American cast. Tracy Oliver, who wrote the Universal Pictures hit Girls Trip, is overseeing production of the upcoming program called The First Wives Club.
This comes on the heels of Netflix terminating its chief communications officer in June for using the N-word in a meeting. And in another high-profile firing, Papa John’s parted ways with its founder John Schnatter in July for stirring more controversy when he used the N-word in a conference call.
Powell, who was named president of the company in 2013, denied making the disparaging comments, vowing to explore legal action against the studio. “The facts will come out and I will be vindicated,” she added.
However, Gianopulos is convinced, after interviewing people who were present during the call, that Powell is guilty as charged. Human resources and company lawyers also gave him the green light to cut ties with her.
“While it is incredibly difficult to part ways with a valued member of our community, it is imperative that we uphold our values and ensure that all employees feel safe and included in the workplace,” Gianopulos’ memo stated.