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.
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.