NEWSFLASH: Fox News Settled Another Sexual Harassment Case On the Heels of Ailes’ Resignation

According to The New York Times, Fox News quietly settled a sexual harassment suit brought by former anchor Juliet Huddy against The O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’ Reilly and Fox News Co-President Jack Abernethy in the aftermath of the resignation of the company’s founder and chairperson, Roger Ailes, amid widespread claims of sexual harassment.

David Shane / Creative Commons

The six-figure settlement for Huddy came just weeks after Ailes left the network under pressure from parent company 20th Century Fox. Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes last year claiming she was fired from the network after refusing his sexual advances. 25 other women backed Carlson’s claims—including former anchor Andrea Tantaros and Megyn Kelly, who has announced that she will leave Fox for NBC this summer—with stories spanning back over Ailes’ 20-year tenure.

Activists called on Fox in August to release the findings of an internal review of sexual harassment claims in the wake of the Ailes allegations. Now, those calls have been renewed.

The revelations surrounding the network’s handling of the case against O’Reilly and Abernethy do little to spark confidence in Fox’s treatment of women, and if true their actions only further foster an all-too-common kind of workplace culture that allows harassment and condones retaliation against women who report it.

ms-headshotLauren Young is an Editorial Intern at Ms. She has a Master’s Degree in European and Russian Studies from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Russian Civilization from Smith College. Follow her on @thelaurenyoung.

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  1. Amy Del Sol says:

    It is a shame to think that something as big as this doesn’t really make it on to bigger headlines. If it weren’t for this assignment where I had to read and comment on an article that interested me, I would have never heard of this case. This is the kind of article that you see on a plot of a movie. Never did I think that they would keep something like this in hush. After so many allegations from women against the same people, there should have been further action taken amongst these people long ago. However, money is a huge factor. Who would want to lose a money making program over some allegations of various woman? Obviously not Fox. As a girl myself, I know sometimes women can make up these sorts of ordeals for attention, but when you have an outstanding number, action should have been taken. It is not right for this to have been allowed and to have let gone on for so long. This is why we are so scared to come forward. This is why we stay quiet and let it happen. How can we be expected to report and come forward when we hear and read about cases like this where it has been happening forever and nothing done against the culprits. Sexual harassment shouldn’t even be happening in the first place, but if it is, then something should be done about it. Look how long it has taken for someone to have gotten a simple settlement on this case against the culprits. As women we are just seeking better results for those who are experiencing these troubles or any other ones in their lives. We just want to help them just like every else should be doing too.

  2. Andrea V. says:

    Another sexual harassment allegation has been brought against a powerful, influential and wealthy man involved in media… again. Unfortunately this has become commonplace in our society causing the legal system to coin many different terms to describe the level offense which has taken place. Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, a man who has his own program on the network has been accused of sexual harassment by a former anchor Juliet Huddy, she is also including the company’s founder and chairperson Roger Ailes in this claim.
    Note the reference to this woman’s career status “former news anchor”. This woman is not the only former employee who had a promising career in the very public forum of news on Fox News, another two “former anchor” women, Andrea Tantaros and Megyn Kelly have also made allegations that they have felt unsafe and felt harassed in an inappropriate sexual capacity in their place of work.
    Three women, at least the three women who were brave enough to come forward, have jeopardized their careers, reputation and earning potential because they could no longer stand the unwanted sexual advanced of their boss; Roger Ailes. Considering the kind of person who achieves this level of career success as a news anchor, working long hours, having thick skin, competitive and accomplished… even willing to do far more work than they should filming and editing all of their own content after working up from internships… you would imagine it would take a lot more than just a little harmless flirting to make them want to quit. These women must have felt threatened and unsafe which is a devastating reality for women in the workplace.
    It is suggested that in the United States more than 50% of women will have experienced sexual harassment at work in their lives. Over half of all women. Mind you the most common occupations where sexual harassment occurs is blue collar and male dominated- yet educated and highly competent women are experiencing a form of inequality and injustice at such a prestigious workplace like Fox News. What is it going to take to gain more gender equality? Women have been fighting for respect and standing up for our gender, it is time to see an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.

  3. Steven James says:

    Another example of rampant behavior that has been happening all over the workplace in this male dominated society. Lewd comments and inappropriate behavior goes on check in the american work environment. Women in addition to having to deal with been paid much less than there male counterparts for doing the same jobs, are also subject to continued harassment. Fear of reporting these interactions in order to not face retaliation, women often have to have tolerate these unacceptable behavior. Men in position of power as Mr. O’Relly was use his influence to derail the career of Ms. Huddy because she had rejected his sexual advancement. Company then once cases are so blatant and uncover prefer to settle out of court and try to keep it under raps as possible. It is not until it is blatantly obvious thats companies step in. The culture cannot change if companies do not act differently. Offcourse Mr. O’Relly continues to keep his shows and publish his books and this if were things will not change until this main issue is dealt with. If men are not reprimanded or loose their jobs for their actions their behavior will continue and it will illustrate to other men in their position that even if they are called out for their indecent behavior the company will protect them. Society has a far way to go as even in light of our current President words on camera regarding his “celebrity status” and that empowering him to make unwanted advances to women because of who he is, people still brush it aside and voted him in.

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