Amy Powell, director of entertainment giant Paramount Pictures' TV department, was fired for controversial comments at a meeting that allegedly contained "racist-charged" language.
Powell, who has been serving Paramount TV since 2013, was fired after an internal investigation into her alleged comments, triggered by a series of complaints. She has denied the allegations.
Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos announced his release on Thursday in a memo received and published by the Hollywood Reporter.
Gianopoulo's memo states that "several people" complained about comments made by Powell in a "professional environment." He said that an investigation by the company's HR and legal departments concluded that what she said was "incompatible with the values of our company" and was serious enough to warrant immediate termination.
Gianopoulo's memo did not specify what Powell said or in what context.
However, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the source of the complaints was racially charged commentary she had made in a conference call to discuss a comedy series in which most actors are black.
According to the story of Hollywood Reporter:
"According to sources, the comments contain a racially charged language, and sources report that the incitement event occurred during a study information call for Paramount Network's First Wives Club reminder. The co-author Tracy Oliver of "Girl Trip" will have a predominantly black cast.
"Powell, allegedly favorite of Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, has allegedly made generalizations about black women who Some felt offensive. "
Powell has rejected the claims. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, she said, "There is no truth to the claim that I made insensitive comments in a professional environment – or any environment."
"The facts will come and I will be confirmed."
Business Insider has contacted Amy Powell and Viacom, Paramount's parent company.