iHeartMedia Atlanta president leaves after appearing to use racial slurs in video
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(ATLANTA) — The president of iHeartMedia Atlanta has left after videos of him allegedly using racial slurs came to light, the radio broadcast company said Friday.
Drew Lauter is heard in the videos taken by a company executive in August 2021 appearing to shout racial slurs, and fatphobic and sexually explicit remarks while riding in a vehicle with other iHeartMedia employees.
Meg Stevens, the senior vice president of programming at iHeart Atlanta, issued a statement to ABC News on Friday confirming that Lauter is no longer employed by iHeartMedia.
“Allegations of this nature go against both our company values and our policies and we take them very seriously,” the statement read. “As soon as they were brought to our attention we acted quickly, retaining an outside investigator to conduct a thorough review, and when we received the outside investigator’s findings we immediately took decisive action. The employee is no longer with the company.”
Lauter has not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment.
Attorneys Jason Castle and Roosevelt Jean represent an unnamed Black executive who took the videos. Castle claims iHeartMedia was aware of the incident the day it happened, but immediate action was not taken. The company and an outside investigative firm were provided with copies of the videos weeks ago, but the firm is still finalizing a report on the incident, he told ABC News.
No legal action has been taken against iHeartMedia or Lauter, but Castle says his client is considering litigation.
“To our knowledge, that incident as captured by our client on video was representative of other instances that gave rise to a hostile work environment, a discriminatory environment, a sexually harassing work environment,” Castle said.
He told ABC News that for his client, this matter is not just about him personally, but about shedding light on the environment at his workplace.
“Our client doesn’t have to comment on, or interpret, or characterize because the comments themselves are clear. The person who said them is clear. The question is, when is it ever appropriate for statements, comments, and those actions in the workplace? When is it ever appropriate?”
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