For many years high-profile men have gotten away with accusations of sexual harassment. For decades, it seems, they avoid legal consequences and duck allegations while continuing to prey on their victims in ugly ways. Accusations of this nature have accompanied men such as Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby to the current leader of the free world, President Donald Trump. Wealth and power have covered the likes of these allowing their bad behavior to continue without consequence. The latest to fall from grace is the former Fox News host, Bill O’Reilly who has finally found himself uncovered but censored.
For years, executives at the network allegedly covered and enabled O’Reilly while victims suffered in silence, for fear of retaliation. The anchor is known for his controversial stance and uncensored behavior. A former staffer, who is afraid to speak publicly, is doubtful things will really change. She said:
Roger Ailes and O’Reilly might be gone, but the rest of the power structure is unchanged.
The Fox News superstar has denied all claims of sexual harassment, but women who worked with him describe a different experience. In a strange twist, O’Reilly is now uncovered but censored. His firing came after The New York Times released a story that revealed five of his accusers received settlements totaling $13 million. Allegations of sexual harassment caused dozens of advertisers to separate from “The O’Reilly Factor” apparently limiting the network’s options as it related to the former host.
O’Reilly recently spoke out for the first time since his departure calling the claims unfounded. Although he is uncovered, he is now censored with claims that he cannot say too much about the allegations. He said he is confident the truth will speak louder than his accusers have. He takes pride in over 20 years with Fox and had nothing negative to say about his experience at the network. O’Reilly received a reported $25 million upon his exit. As have powerful men before him, O’Reilly claimed he is the target of these women due to his fame. After his release, O’Reilly said:
It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.
While the anchor declares his innocence, O’Reilly remains uncovered by a network that shielded his alleged antics for years. Women that worked with O’Reilly throughout his tenure at Fox maintain that he verbally abused them on and off the job. He allegedly described ridiculous and lurid sex acts to coworkers and told a former associate producer that he was performing sexual acts on himself while conversing with her. Although it cost the company millions in settlements, nothing seemed to be a big enough embarrassment to cut his show.
“The O’Reilly Factor” host is the second big name to go amid sexual harassment charges. Roger Ailes, Fox’s longtime former CEO, abruptly resigned in July 2016. O’Reilly’s show generated huge funds for the network, which may be the reason they kept him on despite recurring allegations. “The O’Reilly Factor” was the top-rated show on the number one cable network, which reportedly accounted for 20 percent of 21st Century Fox’s profits.
The accused was good to the network and vice-versa. However, now O’Reilly is uncovered because Fox found it financially dicey to let him remain. The high-profile star’s reputation began to tarnish the brand of the network. Advertisers pulled away and the company risked losing many of its female viewers as well as others. This type of behavior could also have potentially alienated employees. Ironically, now O’Reilly is uncovered, yet chooses to be censored.
Now, O’Reilly has joined his former CEO in the unemployment arena. For many, it was well deserved and long overdue. For others, he should have remained “innocent” until proven guilty. What is next in the life of the former anchor remains a mystery, but fans can tune into his new podcast to see what his future plans are. In a strange twist, Bill O’Reilly is uncovered but censored.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Hartford Courant: Bringing down Bill O’Reilly: The final days of a Fox News superstar
Washington Post: O’Reilly surprised by Fox exit, says truth will come out
New York Times: Bill O’Reilly Breaks His Silence After His Exit From Fox News
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