In a recent investigation, The New York Times discovered that Fox News had settled multiple sexual harassment suits for prominent host Bill O’Reilly over the span of his career. Not only did they settle these suits, they covered them up in order to keep them from leaking to the public. But this is all coming back to bite Fox News in the ass because the decision to keep Bill O’Reilly on staff is costing them millions as major companies have pulled advertising from the network.
Adding to the pressure, the National Organization for Women has called for O’Reilly to be fired and wants an independent investigation into the ethics of the network’s questionable business practices. President of NOW, Terri O’Neil, said in a statement:
Fox News is too big and too influential to simply let this go.”
The New York Times requested a statement in response to this from O’Reilly’s spokesman Mark Fabiani, who declined to comment, but O’Reilly himself has denied the harassment claims and says that they are “without merit” and that “his fame has made him a target for those who would do him harm.”
Fox released a statement which was obviously meant to placate their viewers stating that they are working with their “partners” to “address their current concerns about ‘The O’Reilly Factor,'” but if they keep losing advertisers at this shocking rate, they will most likely be forced to act and possibly fire Bill O’Reilly. The fact that they haven’t done so already is not because they care that he allegedly sexually harassed multiple women, it’s because O’Reilly has their top rated show with 4 million viewers a night and has earned almost half a billion dollars in ad revenue since 2013. They could care less about these nasty allegations — they only care about the money.
So far, more than 20 advertisers have pulled ads from O’Reilly’s show including major brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW of North America, Mitsubishi Motors, Lexus, Constant Contact, Bayer, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, UNTUCKit, Allstate, Esurance, T. Rowe Price, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Orkin, and Wayfair, and this list is sure to keep getting longer as pressure mounts for Fox to answer for this unethical and downright disgusting manner of sweeping O’Reilly’s behavior under the rug.
For months now the failing network has been trying to move past the sexual harassment scandal caused by the company’s founder and chairman Roger Ailes, which has only escalated from recent suits. To make matters worse for them, they have continued to lose credibility with their constant, unwavering support of Donald Trump, who has made them a complete joke with his constant tweets of free advertising for his favorite Fox News programs. The network in its current state has become a total laughingstock, so let’s just hope that this is the beginning of the end of Fox News.
Featured image via Getty/Ilya S. Savenok