Malaysia Airlines flight 370

Veteran Fox executive fired over Flight MH370 charity email

Darlene Tipton, vice president of standards and practices for the Fox Cable Networks Group, wanted to arrange swift financial aid to families of passengers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 April, 2014, 7:18pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 April, 2014, 11:56pm

A veteran Fox television executive has been sacked after she used her company e-mail account to plan aid for relatives of missing passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

Darlene Tipton, who was vice-president of standards and practices for the Fox Cable Networks Group, said she had wanted to arrange swift financial aid to families and other loved ones, sparing them lengthy court fights. She said she began by e-mailing Sarah Bajc, an American whose boyfriend, Philip Wood, was a passenger on the jet and who has made frequent TV appearances since its disappearance on March 8.

A Fox spokesman said Tipton's "conduct and communications" violated company policy.

Tipton was with Fox for almost 25 years before her April 9 dismissal. She said she plans to continue with her initiative, soliciting money through the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.

"We want to raise money for families, to give them immediate relief," Tipton said. "Otherwise, they could be in court for years."

A condition of accepting the money she hopes to raise: recipients must waive the right to seek legal remedy. "If they're getting money through contributions," she said, "it isn't right for them to seek money through legal channels, too."

But she plans to sue Fox for wrongful termination, said her husband, Ken Tipton, a writer and producer.

He said the idea for the fundraising effort stemmed from his Los Angeles hospital stay last month, shortly after the plane disappeared. He said that while he was under medication he had hallucinations of being with the plane's passengers and the power of his visions spurred him and his wife to try to help.