A statement from national NOW President Terry O’Neill:
The culture of sexual harassment at Fox News must stop. The National Organization for Women (NOW) calls for Bill O’Reilly to be fired and demands an immediate independent investigation into the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News.
An investigation by The New York Times revealed that five women who accused Mr. O’Reilly of sexual harassment received payouts–totaling about $13 million–in exchange for their silence. Three of these stories had been previously unreported.
The report indicates that Mr. O’Reilly abused his position of power and engaged in a pattern of predatory, misogynistic behavior–enticing women with promises of career advancement, and threatening retribution when they rebuffed his sexual advances. The reported use of his powerful position to repeatedly manipulate women reveals a cruel misogyny that runs to the core of his character.
On the heels of Roger Ailes’ shameful removal from Fox News, following similar sexual harassment claims, Mr. O’Reilly’s case is part of a larger culture that condones the harassment and objectification of women at Fox News. Men like Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Ailes will never be stopped as long as their behavior is allowed to continue, even supported, by their employer.
For too long women have endured dangerous sexism at the hands of powerful men and , powerful institutions. Fox News is too big and too influential to simply let this go. Women have the right to go to work without facing harassment. Fox News apparently doesn’t get that basic concept.