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After Suing Disney, Former Anchor Targets ABC Legend

Sage Steele Barbara Walters
Credit: ESPN/ABC

The Walt Disney Company is so much more than just Disney. The studio giant owns not only Disney, but also ESPN, ABC, National Geographic, Freeform, FX, 20th Century Fox, as well as a controlling stake in Hulu. There are more than 200,000 people that call Disney their boss. Each of these employees has their own voice, own opinions, and own feelings.

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Credit: Disney

One of the people employed by Disney was ESPN anchor Sage Steele. During her time with ESPN, Steele worked on a number of shows, including SportsCenter, SportsNation, and NBA Countdown. Steele was known for her great sports takes, but also for her controversial opinions. While she was employed by Disney, Steele made a number of comments people deemed “inappropriate”. She said that President Barack Obama should not identify as a black man, criticized Disney for its COVID mandates, and said that women need to watch how they dress, so they aren’t sexually harassed or assaulted.

Sage Steele ESPN

Credit: Jeff Kern, Flickr

Disney suspended the anchor for the comments she made, and Steele sued. Steele said that Disney had violated her First Amendment right to free speech when they suspended her. The case never made it to trial. Disney and Steele settled, with the terms of the settlement remaining private. Steele then said she was leaving ESPN, so she could freely share her thoughts.

And she didn’t take long to fulfill that promise.

Sage Steele

Credit: ESPN

Steele recently sat down with former FOX News host Megyn Kelly. During the interview, Steele claimed that she was once attacked by legendary reporter Barbara Walters. Steele said that the alleged incident happened back in 2014 after a segment on Walters’ show, The View, that focused on former President Barack Obama.

“It was Barbara, Whoopi, and myself in the dark greenroom on the side. I was probably 4 feet from the wall and the trash can and Barbara was standing over here in front of me and she just started to back up towards me and looked at me and got close and elbowed me and it pushed me back into the wall and the trash can. I was like, ‘What did this mmph just do to me? This 140-year-old woman just tried to like tackle me.’”

Sage Steele

Credit: Jeff Kern, Flickr

Steele continued to say that she was consoled by Walters’ cohost, Whoopi Goldberg. She claimed that, in addition to Goldberg, several producers saw what happened between her and Walters.

This is not the first time that Steele has spoken about her problems with Walters. On a different show, Steele said that Walters criticized her for identifying as biracial. Walters reportedly said that Obama had identified as black, despite being biracial.

Of course, Ms. Walters cannot comment on any of Steele’s claims. The renowned journalist passed away on December 30, 2022, at the age of 93.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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