- USA Today Sports/Reuters
- Fox News removed an opinion column written by one of its top executives, John Moody, on Friday after critics called it “racist and homophobic.”
- “It appears the US Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different,'” he wrote on Wednesday of the team slogan.
- Fox said Moody’s column “does not reflect the views or values of FOX News” and a network insider said the piece did not receive proper vetting before publication.
Fox News removed an opinion column written by one of its top executives, John Moody, on Friday after critics called it “racist and homophobic.”
“John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of FOX News and has been removed,” the network said in a statement to Business Insider on Friday.
In the piece, Moody, an executive vice president and executive editor at Fox News called efforts by the US Olympics Committee to attract more diverse athletes an attempt to become “darker” and “gayer.”
“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different,'” he wrote on Wednesday. “If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.”
Moody suggested that US athletes were selected based on their race or sexual orientation, rather than merit.
“No sport that we are aware of awards points ― or medals ― for skin color or sexual orientation,” he wrote. “So, while uncomfortable, the question probably needs to be asked: were our Olympians selected because they’re the best at what they do, or because they’re the best publicity for our current obsession with having one each from Column A, B and C?”
A Fox News insider told Business Insider that Moody’s column was not put through the proper vetting process because of his high stature at the network, but that Moody no longer has editorial oversight over any platform at Fox.
Moody, who regularly writes opinion pieces for Fox, is one of the network’s longest-serving executives and formerly directed editorial content under the late Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.
In response to Fox’s distancing from Moody, New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik tweeted, “Only a few people have had more to do with the views and values of Fox News than John Moody.”
Critics, including prominent gay rights organizations, spoke out as the column circulated online.
“These athletes are at the Olympics because they already won by qualifying to represent the United States on the world’s stage; and they did so despite facing discrimination from places like Fox News throughout their careers,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, told the Hollywood Reporter. “Moody should not only apologize to the athletes and fans for this disgraceful post, but Fox News should open their site for diverse athletes to share their own personal stories and perspectives.”
Catherine Sakimura, deputy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, called the column “racist and homophobic.”
Some journalists took to Twitter to join in the critique.
“Oh, hey, it’s the executive editor and executive vice president of Fox News saying the United States should embarrassed by the diversity of its Olympic athletes,” Washingtonian writer Ben Freed tweeted.