21st Century Fox, the conglomerate in charge of Fox News Channel, has made an executive decision to fire its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, following allegations of sexual harassment. O’Reilly has worked at #Fox News for 21 years, so cutting ties with him is shocking to say the least, despite the charges.

The parent company was forced to make the decision because Fox News, the highest-rated cable news network in the United States, wouldn’t care about sexual harassment cases and agrees very strongly with O’Reilly’s right-wing political views.

21st Century Fox released a statement explaining the decision

A statement released by 21st Century Fox filled with a lot of legal jargon (such as referring to the company by the pronoun “the Company” like it’s the shady organisation from “Prison Break”) explained their decision to fire O’Reilly, which they framed kindly by saying he “will not be returning” to their airwaves.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The company explained that they decided to cut out O’Reilly following “a thorough and careful review of the allegations,” but did not elaborate on this. However, an inside memo sent around the office by Rupert, Lachlan, and James Murdoch (keeping it in the family) was leaked, saying that the decision to fire O’Reilly came from outside counsel. Tucker Carlson will be getting O’Reilly’s 8pm timeslot on Fox News Channel until he gets fired himself for saying something racist.

The internal memo stated that in terms of “ratings,” O’Reilly is unparalleled. Ratings mean money. Money makes a strong case for not firing a sexually aggressive employee. It said that he is “one of the most accomplished” people working in TV in “the history of cable news,” and that his success is “indisputable.” However, sexual harassment is a PR nightmare, so they had to let him go with the confidence that Fox News’ “talent bench” would maintain its position as “a powerhouse in cable news.”

O’Reilly and Fox News have paid out $13 million to settle lawsuits

This decision comes just over two weeks after a New York Times article was published claiming that O’Reilly and Fox News Channel have had to pay out almost $13 million to settle sexual harassment suits with five different women whose cases go back a decade and a half.

Advertisements

In the eighteen days since that report, two more women have also come forward to call out “The O’Reilly Factor” host for harassing them sexually.

Fox News were being pressured to fire O’Reilly after these allegations and charges came out, with a whopping total of 90 advertisers pulling their spots from his show after the New York Times report was published. The hashtag #DropOReilly began to trend on social media. O’Reilly has been off the air since 11 April (and may now be off the air forever), except this time he wasn’t taking time off the show for a vacation like he did last year.

O’Reilly’s attorney framed the allegations as “a brutal campaign of character assassination,” describing it as “unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.” The attorney claims that they have “irrefutable” evidence that this is a big scam to take down O’Reilly by “far-left organisations.” We have yet to see this evidence he speaks of. #Bill O'Reilly #Television