New Sexual Harassment Claims; FOX News Losing Advertisers
By Nethani Palmani | Apr 06, 2017 11:27 AM EDT
About 10 companies have withdrawn their advertising spots from Bill O'Reilly's signature talk show on FOX News, as they discovered allegations of sexual harassment over him. Several women have accused the host and his company of paying them millions to remain silent about the allegations.
Advertisers ditching the "O'Reilly Factor" include Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and BMW of North America, as CNN. Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland wrote a statement, "Given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don't feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now."
Nonetheless, this isn't the first scandal involving FOX News. Former FOX News chairman Roger Ailes, who was involved in his own sexual harassment scandal last year, was hit with a new lawsuit on Monday, over the allegation of offering promotion in exchange for a sexual relationship. Additionally, black employees filed a lawsuit over racial discrimination against FOX News last week, and a third black employee joined the lawsuit on Tuesday.
FOX News charted $446 million in ad revenue between year 2014 and 2016. The O'Reilly Factor grabbed the number one spot in cable news alongside its anti-political correctness, pro-patriotism, and conservative programming.
FOX News's parent company released a statement in response, emphasizing that the 21st Century Fox considers workplace issues very seriously. "Notwithstanding the fact that no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O'Reilly, even anonymously, we have looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr. O'Reilly."
Despite the accusations of sexual harassment O'Reilly has faced, the company has decided to extend his contract, according to the New York Times. What seems clear is for now, the organizational culture of FOX News need real change.