Fox New Golden Boy, Bill O’Reilly was ousted by the network yesterday, not after years of more than a dozen of sexual harassment allegations and subsequent payouts, but after of O’Reilly’s national sponsors pulled ads from his show after it became apparent that the allegations were far from over and pressure from the public grew.
During the two decades that O’Reilly worked for the network, allegations of harassment and abuse had been rumored, but it wasn’t until the New York Times reported, earlier this month that Fox News had paid more than $13 million in settlements, from 2002 to 2016, to five women, that that seemed to matter.
One of these 5 allegations, the one made by producer Andrea Mackris, was already public knowledgeable and resulted in Mackris being awarded $9 million—half of O’Reilly’s current salary—in 2004. Mackris alleged that O’Reilly described graphic sexual fantasies about her and subsequently threatened her job if she told anyone about it. Fox News settled the suit, and at least four others.
Earlier this year even popular Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, left the network a few months after detailing, in her book, sexual harassment from then Fox News chief, Roger Ailes—the other big-wig who departed from Fox after decades of abuse allegations and tens of millions of dollars in payouts were made to women alleging similar claims clearly indicative of an institutional pattern of enabling and protecting sex abusers. After Kelly’s accounts of harassment became public, and O’Reilly went on ‘CBS This Morning’ and responded to questions about the culture by saying, "I've had enough of it. It's a good place to work. All right?"
Kelly's allegations came to light right after former Fox News host, Gretchen Carlson, whose allegations against Ailes were settled for $20 million in September of last year.
Following these events, O’Reilly doubled-down on his victim-blaming sentiments, via his show, saying, "If you don't like what's happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave." Kelly accepted a new position at NBC starting this summer. |
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor
AP PHOTO/RICHARD DREW, FILE*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK's editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.