Bill O'Reilly, Anchor Of Fox News Show Faces Sexual Harassment Scandal
Apr 07 2017 by Larry Hoffman
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Fox and Mr. O'Reilly agreed on the settle the sexual harassment allegations filed against him by five women for $13 million.
O'Reilly is Fox News' top revenue producer, according to research firm Kantar Media, bringing in over $178 million in ad dollars in 2015 and $118.6 million in the first nine months of 2016. 21st Century Fox said they take allegations of workplace and sexual harassment seriously and have reviewed the allegations against O'Reilly.
As the advertiser backlash grew Tuesday, both Fox and 21st Century Fox were muted in their defense of O'Reilly throughout most of the day. Given its popularity, O'Reilly's show commands more ad money than any other on the network and is immensely profitable, and an ad exodus extremely threatening to O'Reilly and his employer.
The latest controversy comes after Fox News was forced to oust its chief Roger Ailes, a close confidante of the company's founder Rupert Murdoch, over similar charges.
The clothing company UNTUCKit said in a statement it was pulling its ads from the "O'Reilly Factor", noting that two-thirds of its employees are women. In the wake of the report, Mercedes-Benz announced it would reassign advertisements that had been scheduled to air during O'Reilly's show.
On the other hand, Allstate expressed concerned about the issues surrounding The O'Reilly Factor and pointed out that "inclusivity and support for women" are important values for the company.
Some advertisers have said they will continue to run ads on his show.
Given that O'Reilly's program has spent 14 straight years as the No. 1 program in cable news, we recommend the CNN reporter assigned to the story not hold his or her breath while waiting to hear back from those advertisers as to the results of their investigation into the "matter". O'Reilly, 67, is the network's most visible star, leading a prime time programming slate that draws industry-leading ratings with its conservative commentary.
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If more advertisers follow, it could pose an existential threat to the O'Reilly Factor.
Apparently, the company has stood by O'Reilly who claims that the allegations are as a result of his prominence.
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai and Allstate Insurance Co., major long-time advertisers from the automotive industry, have removed their advertising campaigns from the controversial Fox political show "The O'Reilly Factor".
Fox News representatives did not immediately return messages for comment.
He didn't deny that he had made the payments, instead saying, "I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children".
On Monday, Julie Roginsky, a current Fox News contributor, filed a lawsuit against Ailes, Fox News and Bill Shine, one of the network's copresidents, asserting that she faced retaliation for rebuffing Ailes' sexual advances.
The humiliating audio tapes, where the host was heard trying to lure Mackris into initiating a sexual liaison, also made headlines but O'Reilly managed to come out of it unscathed after settling the case for $9 million the same year.