A Fox News exec who penned a shocking column attacking gay and ethnic minority Olympians is leaving the company.
John Moody has been instrumental for decades at the conservative news network, serving as its executive editor and executive vice president.
Prior to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last month, Moody penned an online comment piece attacking the number of openly gay and minority athletes on the US Olympic team.
He wrote: “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’.”
“If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.”
Fox News quickly pulled the column and distanced itself from Moody.
A spokesperson said at the time: “John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of FOX News and has been removed.”
Sources within Fox News said the column had not been put through routine checks prior to publication due to Moody’s seniority at the company.
Less than a month after the controversy, the 64-year-old Moody has departed Fox News.
A Fox News spokesperson confirmed the news, telling CNN: “John Moody has retired from Fox News”.
According to reports Moody had not held significant sway for some time, having been left at the margins following the 2016 departure of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes – who resigned from Fox News amid allegations of sexual misconduct but later became an adviser to Donald Trump.
There were just two out gay men at the Winter Olympics this year – Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon – and less than ten percent of the 200-strong Winter Olympic team are from an ethnic minority.
Moody had written: “A USOC official was quoted this week expressing pride (what else?) about taking the most diverse U.S. squad ever to the Winter Olympics.”
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“That was followed by a, frankly, embarrassing laundry list of how many African-Americans, Asians and openly gay athletes are on this year’s U.S. team.
“No sport that we are aware of awards points – or medals – for skin color or sexual orientation.”
He adds: “Insisting that sports bow to political correctness by assigning teams quotas for race, religion or sexuality is like saying that professional basketball goals will be worth four points if achieved by a minority in that sport – white guys, for instance – instead of the two or three points awarded to black players, who make up 81 percent of the NBA.”
There is no quota system in place for the Winter Olympic team, and out Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy also qualified for the Olympics last time around – when he was in the closet.
The exec joined Fox News in the 1990s, and was an integral figure in building up its output.
Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD said in a statement: “The executive vice president of Fox News targeted some of our nation’s top athletes with vicious anti-LGBTQ and biased rhetoric at what should be the proudest moment of their lives,
“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.
“It’s not enough that the column has been removed. Moody should have the decency to apologize to the athletes and fans for this disgraceful post, and Fox News should open their site for diverse athletes to share their own personal stories and perspectives.”