Activists are calling the firing of Bill O’Reilly what it really is, a victory over a serial sexual predator, but are warning that there is still a sexual harassment problem at Fox News that advertisers need to be wary of.
In reaction to O’Reilly’s firing, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, said in a statement provided to PolliticusUSA:
Bill O’Reilly is a serial sexual predator, a bigot, and a misogynist. He will not be missed, and because 21st Century Fox fired Bill O’Reilly, the female employees at Fox News will be slightly safer.
But Fox News’ problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O’Reilly. For years, Fox News executives, like Bill Shine, have provided cover for systematic sexual harassment and abuse of Fox New’s employees. From Roger Ailes to Bill O’Reilly, Fox News has consistently failed to provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment and abuse – and that’s a big problem.
The fact that Fox News is only taking action against O’Reilly after an investigation revealed that they could be defrauding shareholder by not revealing payments made to cover up the abuse, isn’t lost on anyone. The first accusations of sexual assault lobbed against Bill O’Reilly at Fox News were made more than 13 years ago.”
Unless Fox News makes the results of the investigation public, and fires all those found guilty of, or complicit in, covering up sexual harassment – advertisers and the general public will continue to have cause for concern. With reports that dozens of additional women at the network have not yet come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, the next scandal for the network may just be months away.
Roger Ailes wasn’t the only problem at Fox News. Bill O’Reilly wasn’t the only problem at Fox News. Fox has a culture problem. The activists were correct. Until Fox News makes the investigation public and fires those who participated in or helped to cover up sexual harassment, this scandal is going to continue to eat away at the network like cancer.
Advertisers would be wise to tread very carefully when it comes to linking their brands with Fox News. Removing O’Reilly was treating a symptom, not the disease, and no one should be fooled for a second into believing that everything is fine at Fox News now that O’Reilly and Ailes are gone.
The activists are still watching, and they will continue to hit Fox News in the wallet unless their clean up their criminal culture of sexually predatory behavior.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association