Dear Commons Community,
The sad saga at Fox News continues after an investigation by the New York Times last weekend revealed multiple settlements over allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by Bill O’Reilly. Pressure mounted for Fox News to take action against O’Reilly as more advertisers pulled current and future spots for the show and the National Organization for Women (NOW) called for his ouster. As reported by the New York Times:
“The erosion of advertising support, along with pressure from advocacy groups, heightened the sense of uncertainty at Fox News, which for months has been trying to move beyond the sexual harassment scandal that led to the dismissal of Mr. Ailes. It also raised questions about how long 21st Century Fox will stand behind Mr. O’Reilly. Fox News signaled that it was trying to contain the controversy and working to restore relations with the network’s advertisers, noting that companies had reallocated their spending from Mr. O’Reilly’s program to other network shows.”
“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland told CNN, which first reported the company’s decision to pull advertising on Monday.
Fox News needs to bite the bullet and accept that this is not an isolated incident and that a culture of sexual harrasment was allowed to flourish under former executive Roger Ailes.