Fox News Drops Bill O’Reilly Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News reign has come to an abrupt end.
The longtime host for the network has been kicked off following multiple accusations of sexual harassment that have recently surfaced.
21st Century Fox released a statement Wednesday confirming, “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 statement puts an end to O’Reilly’s 20-year relationship with Fox News. The formerly “undisputed king” of cable news’ prime-time spot will be replaced by Fox host Tucker Carlson. Starting April 24, Carlson’s Tucker Carlson Tonight will take over the 8 p.m. time slot.
Hours after being fired, O’Reilly’s name was removed from The O’Reilly Factor, Fox’s most popular show. Substitute host Dana Perino took over The Factor, beginning with a speech about the incident.
“Before we get to the other big stories of the day, we want to address a situation many of you may already be aware of. Bill O’Reilly, who hosted this program for 20 years, is leaving the Fox News Channel. We know that you, his very loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about this and we will talk more about it later on in the program,” Perino said.
O’Reilly is now facing the claims that led to his removal, involving a number of women who have come forward.
Investigations by The New York Times led to a release on April 1 of a total of five women who claimed to receive payouts by either O’Reilly or Fox. The report states that these women, who worked for or appeared on O’Reilly’s show, were paid a combined $13 million. The money was in return for their silence from pressing charges about sexual harassment allegations.
The women who received settlements include Andrea Mackris, a producer on The O’Reilly Factor, and Rebecca Gomez Diamond, a host on Fox Business Network. According to The New York Times, the women have complained about verbal abuse, lewd comments, unsolicited advances and more.
Since this release, other women have also come forward.
The New York Times’ reporting suggests a pattern: “As an influential figure in the newsroom, Mr. O’Reilly would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally. He then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.”
At least 44 companies have since pulled O’Reilly’s Factor ads from airing on their channels, cutting the $446 million in advertising revenue between 2014 and 2016.
His attorney has condemned the sexual harassment allegations as part of an “orchestrated campaign” against him.
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 18, 2017
O’Reilly describes the ordeal as “tremendously disheartening” and all because of “unfounded claims.”
BREAKING: Statement from Bill O'Reilly, who is currently on a plane back from Italy >> pic.twitter.com/UCnUjNQSrS
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 19, 2017
Amidst the affliction, public backlash has surfaced ,including Late Show host Stephen Colbert, who said that by moral standards, O’Reilly was a “self-righteous landfill of angry garbage.” He also reminded viewers that the TV personality has been racking up sexual harassment accusations for years.
Other celebrities have also spoken out since, including Debra Messing, Ludacris, Seth MacFarlane, Cher and others.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) April 20, 2017
A WIN for Women & the Men who Respect them. https://t.co/lXJbyJlfih
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) April 19, 2017
3 FAMOUS OLD MEN…ROGER AILELS,
BILL O’REILLY,& DONALD TRUMP HAVE SEXUALLY HARASSED WOMEN 4 YRS,TWO GOT FIRED,& ONE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT‼️
— Cher (@cher) April 19, 2017
New book by FOX News: Killing Bill O'Reilly.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 19, 2017
HATE MAY WIN SOME BATTLES, BUT LOVE WINS IN THE END. YOURS TRULY, LUDA
— Ludacris (@Ludacris) April 19, 2017
— ROSIE (@Rosie) April 19, 2017
Fox firing Bill O'Reilly is huge and hopefully sends an effective signal to all guys, however powerful, who harass & maul women
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) April 19, 2017