In the summer of 2016, former Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes, was accused of sexual harassment. In the midst of the scandal, Fox News said, “that it did not tolerate behavior that disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.” According to an investigation by the New York Times, however, it seems that the network has been giving payments to women to stay quiet about their experiences of sexual harassment by the network’s most valuable individual, William James O’Reilly, Jr.
William James O’Reilly, Jr., or as he is famously known, Bill O’Reilly, joined the Fox News channel in 1996. His show The O’Reilly Factor is “the most watched cable news show for the past 14 years,” according to his bio on the official Fox News website. In the article by the New York Times, it states that, “The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show.” The women who claimed to be sexually harassed received settlement. The allegation started back in 2002 with Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, a junior producer at Fox News, and the latest being Juliet Huddy, an On-air personality at Fox News in 2016.
The president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, voiced his opinion on the matter on an interview by the New York Times. He stated, “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person, I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
It is no secret that the president favors Fox News as his news outlet, as he has often promoted their shows on his Twitter account.
Although O’Reilly had been hit with these allegations, he is still a big asset of the network. His news show averaged 2.8 million viewers in 2015 according to The Hollywood Reporter. But as of late a multitude of advertisers pulled their ads from airing during his show.