We told you earlier this month about the age discrimination lawsuit that Colleen Dominguez has filed against Fox Sports. After being hired by Fox in 2014, Dominguez seemed to have disappeared from her job in 2015.
In an op-ed piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Dominguez speaks out for the first time since filing the lawsuit. She writes that as aging is a natural part of life, Dominguez says employers treat age “as a detriment, not an attribute” and age discrimination happens “overwhelmingly to women.”
Alleging ageism by Fox, Dominguez goes even further:
In my industry, those in the executive offices seem to think they know exactly what and who viewers want to watch. Many of those executives are men. At Fox Sports they most certainly are. Trust me, the irony isn’t lost on me that men my age are telling me that I’m no longer good enough because I’m their age. It was humiliating for me to think about them sitting in meetings evaluating video of my face and body as well as when there was office talk about management possibly asking me to get a facelift. It’s almost 2016 and this is the message networks want to send to our mothers, sisters, daughters, neighbors and co-workers. When it comes to women, youth is valuable and experience is disposable. Really?
Dominguez says she wants to work, but over the last year, she couldn’t get an assignment from her bosses no matter how hard she pleaded and she watched other Fox Sports reporters filing reports while she sat on the sidelines.
She adds that the lawsuit could spell the end of her broadcast career, but she feels she has to go forward:
I never turned down assignments. I brought them exclusive interviews. I did my job well. Television broadcasting is admittedly a precarious industry. Not getting assignments for such a long period has been damaging. Some have suggested I’ll never recover from the damage inflicted, others say the lawsuit will kill my career.
Either way, I choose to focus on what I can do as opposed to what I can’t control. In the last 20 years, I’ve gone from NBC Network News to ESPN to Fox Sports. I am proud of my career, but in no way am I ready to hang it up.
Fox had a potential powderkeg with Pam Oliver when she was replaced by Erin Andrews on the NFL on Fox “A” team, but it was defused when Fox offered Oliver a new contract and the opportunity to continue on the “B” team.
But with Dominguez, whether this was intentional to keep her off the air due to her age or a clash with her bosses, we won’t know unless the lawsuit goes to trial. She says she has received support from other women inside Fox Sports and notes that she works just as hard as any reporter.
Where this will go is anyone’s guess, but at this time, Fox certainly has a lot to deal with as this goes forward.