BET Fired Zola Mashariki While She Was On Medical Leave For Breast Cancer
The only thing worse than getting fired on your day off is finding out you’ve been let go while you’re on medical leave battling breast cancer.
When the news of Stephen G. Hill‘s departure from BET made headlines, it was also reported that Head of Programming Zola Mashariki was also let go.
Zola was completely blindsided by the news as she had been out on medical leave after being diagnosed with breast cancer in December and was expecting to return to work on April 11.
Via NY Daily News:
On Friday, Mashariki attempted to set the record straight by sending an email to co-workers saying that she’s been on medical leave since being diagnosed with breast cancer in December and plans to come back on April 11.
“Bob Bakish has said our company values should be honesty, empathy and bravery. I agree with this wholeheartedly,” she wrote, adding that “without question, including me in Stephen’s departure announcement in not in keeping with those values.”
Sources close to the situation say that there have been tensions between Mashariki and Hill since she came over to BET from Fox Searchlight in 2014.
We’re told that when Mashariki first informed BET that she was taking leave, Hill expressed discontent with her absence.
“You can’t fire someone on medical leave,” fumed one angry insider. “Her contract is through 2018.”
As part of BET’s restructuring, they will also be closing offices in Washington, D.C., and moving some staffers to Los Angeles.
BET rep Tracy McGraw, who confirms that Mashariki is no longer with the network, insists that they did nothing wrong.
“We strongly deny any allegation of wrongdoing. In addition, we will not comment on specific employee matters,” said McGraw.
This is downright grimy! Lawsuit soon come!