Fox Producer Says Network Bullied Her Into Giving Misleading Info in Dominion Case on 2020 Election
The producer for Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson said she became a scapegoat thanks to a culture of “poisonous and entrenched patriarchy.”
A Fox News producer has sued the media company, alleging its lawyers coerced her into giving misleading testimony in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against the network. The move, she argues, is due to a culture of “poisonous and entrenched patriarchy” that targets female staff.
Abby Grossberg has worked at Fox for the past four years, primarily on Maria Bartiromo’s shows. Last year, she began working on Tucker Carlson’s nightly show. In court documents filed Monday night in New York and Delaware, Grossberg accused network lawyers of trying to set up her and Bartiromo as scapegoats for Fox’s decision to repeatedly air falsehoods about Dominion Voting Systems and election fraud.
Grossberg said the attempt was the result of systemic misogyny and discrimination at Fox. “That’s what the culture is there,” she told The New York Times. “They don’t respect or value women.”
The lawsuit describes rampant sexism throughout Fox News: Grossberg said network executives described Bartiromo as a “crazy bitch” and “menopausal.” When Grossberg started working on Carlson’s show, his office was decorated with pictures of then–House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a revealing swimsuit.
Grossberg alleges that Carlson’s top producer asked her if Bartiromo and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy were having a sexual relationship, and that Carlson’s staff regularly made antisemitic jokes and misogynistic comments. When she reported to HR that two male producers harassed her, Grossberg says she was reprimanded instead for not doing her job.
Grossberg also said that Bartiromo’s show was so short-staffed that she was often the only employee working on it, meaning they had no bandwidth to fact-check what Bartiromo said on air. In her deposition in the Dominion Voting lawsuit, Grossberg was asked whether she cared that the claims made on Bartiromo’s show were true or false.
“No. Because we didn’t know if they were true or false at the time,” she said. She answered “no” when asked if it was important to correct a false claim made on air.
Grossberg now says that she was “coached by and intimidated by” Fox lawyers to make these and other similar statements regarding the network’s coverage of the 2020 election. She told CNN she wanted to “expose the lies and deceit” that she saw at Fox.
“It’s constant,” she said. “Ratings are very important to the shows, to the network, and to the hosts. It’s a business and that’s what drives coverage.”
Fox has countersued Grossberg to block her from sharing information that could cause the network to “suffer immediate irreparable harm.” A network spokesperson also said the company had hired an outside investigator to look into Grossberg’s accusations, which they claimed “were made following a critical performance review.”
Fox News has been hit for years with multiple accusations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, particularly for female employees.
The network’s executives and star hosts have also admitted in sworn testimony that they know they spread falsehoods about the 2020 election—but continued to do so, and to give airtime to members of former President Donald Trump’s inner circle.
Grossberg is coming forward as the network faces two major defamation lawsuits: one from Dominion, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages, and another from electronic voting machine company Smartmatic, which is seeking $2.7 billion.
We can, of course, take some of her claims with a grain of salt. It does not take a full production team to fact-check that the 2020 election was not stolen, for example. Grossberg has now openly admitted that she knew Fox was spreading lies during her years working there.