Fox News says good-bye to Bill O’Reilly over alleged sexual harassment charges
Fox News’ parent company announced that it has ended its collaboration with Bill O’Reilly, host of the widely popular O’Reilly Factor. The news comes after alleged sexual harassment charges.
In a statement on Wednesday, 21st Century Fox announced that Fox News ended its over two decade collaboration with Bill O’Reilly.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the company said in a statement.
The decision to say good-bye to O’Reilly’s popular political show comes after allegations of sexual harassment that led to sponsors withdraw their support for the talk-show host.
The scandal begun with a New York Times article that revealed the company paying $13 million in settlements over sexual harassment allegations form several women that worked with O’Reilly.
Reporters said that the women complained about verbal abuse and lewd comments, unwanted advances and receiving inappropriate phone calls from O’Reilly.
The women that reached an agreement with the company or O’Reilly signed non-disclosure agreements but another O’Reilly collaborator, Wendy Walsh, who had been a guest on “The O’Reilly Factor,” had talked to reporters complaining that rejecting the hosts sexual advances led her to lose her job.
O’Reilly did not comment the New York Times revelations while Fox News said that it takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously.
But this did not convince sponsors with several companies announcing that they will pull back their commercials from the show.
In a statement made by Bill O’Reilly after 21st century announced its decision, the talk show host characterized the sexual harassment allegations as “unfounded” and said that the company’s decision to end the collaboration was “disheartening.”
“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. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel,” Bill O’Reilly said in his statement.
It seems that the decision was taken by the Murdochs, the company’s owners, according to the Washington Post, without consulting Bill O’Reilly. The host’s lawyer told reporters that the Bill found out about the decision from the press release.
The O’Reilly Factor was one of the most popular political shows on US cable television. According to AOL, episodes attracted over 700,000 viewers.
The O’Reilly scandal came after 21th Century Fox let go Roger Aisle, Fox News’ Chairman and CEO was also let go after sexual harassment charges.
And Bill O’Reilly is just the most recent host to leave Fox News. Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly also left Fox after the Aisle scandal.