21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, will investigate allegations that Bill O’Reilly, its No.1 host, has been making sexually inappropriate overtures to women in the workplace. Proving that public shaming can be effective.
The New York Times reported on April 1 that O’Reilly and Fox News paid roughly $13 million to keep accusers quiet about complaints of sexual harassment against the TV host. According to the New York Times, the earliest incident occurred in 2002, 15 years ago.
The company is set to follow protocol after it has taken its time investigating the accusations.
Civil rights attorney representing one of the women named in the New York Times article, Lisa Bloom, told CNN: “I’m told that they are taking it seriously, and they are going to do the investigation that’s legally required of them.”
Wendy Walsh, who is represented by Bloom, had a guest appearance on The O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly had allegedly offered her a job in 2013, but changed his mind after she refused to accompany him to his hotel room after a dinner.
Last Wednesday, Bloom and Walsh filmed themselves while calling Fox’s corporate hotline to file a complaint, they later posted it on YouTube.
The women who accepted settlements from O’Reilly and Fox News agreed to remain silent on the matter. However, Walsh hasn’t filed a lawsuit, meaning she can be public with her story. According to the New York Times, O’Reilly rude behavior and verbal abuse directed at Walsh were mentioned in the sexual harassment suits against him.
An environment of harassment:
Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, resigned from his post in July, after being accused of serial sexual misconduct. He left his post two weeks after Gretchen Carlson filed suit over his routinely sexist and inappropriate behavior.
Julie Roginsky, a Fox contributor also filed a sexual harassment suit against Ailes on Monday. She joins a minimum of 20 other women who voiced similar complaints about Ailes’ behavior with female employees. Those allegations incited a federal investigation of Fox News.
However, despite the claims, the host doesn’t seem to be suffering much. The O’Reilly Factor’s ratings have increased, and although several advertisers dropped the show due to the allegations, others find it an opportunity to take those primetime slots.