Bill O’Reilly show was reportedly cancelled from Fox News, 21st Century Fox following revelations that he and the network paid five women to settle sexual harassment claims over the years.
Less than a week after it was announced that O’Reilly and Fox News would sever ties, Bill O’Reilly returned to his podcast “No Spin News” on April 24th. He has been hosting the show for years, and it is available to premium subscribers of his website.
One day after another woman came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against O’Reilly, on April 19, 2017, the parent company of Fox News, 21st Century Fox, announced the decision to sever ties with Bill O’Reilly.
In an emailed statement 21st Century Fox said;
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.
Bill O’Reilly, who is 67 years old, insists that he was targeted because of his fame, and the allegations are unfounded. Some major companies have pulled advertising from the show and a few individuals had requested that Fox fires O’Reilly.
Over 50 companies removed advertising from “The O’Reilly Factor” following the allegations.
Companies that pulled advertising included Mercedes-Benz, BMW of North America, Allstate Corp., Angie’s List, French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA, direct marketer Constant Contact, men’s clothing company Untuckit and mutual fund operator T. Rowe Price
The company had initially stood by Bill O’Reilly when The New York Times article was published, but as the scandal rocked readers and advertisers jumped ship this caused the popular show host and the network to be at crossroads.
Demanding an independent investigation into the “culture of sexual harassment” at Fox News are Lisa Bloom civil rights attorney, The National Organization for Women, and New York City’s public advocate.
The New York Times revealed the outcome of an investigation the newspaper had conducted in a published article April 1 about their findings. The newspaper made the revelation that a sum totalling $13 million was paid to five women which had been given by either Fox News or O’Reilly in exchange for not pursuing litigation over allegations of harassment as well as for not going public on the matter.
The Times reported that the harassments included verbal abuse, unwanted advances and lewd comments. Also, inclusive of the five settlements, four involved sexual harassment allegations, and the fifth involved a verbal abuse claim.
These women who made the accusation either worked directly for O’Reilly or who appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor,” according to The New York Times. Two of the settlements were previously known before The Times report released their information about the others.
A payout of $9 million in a 2004 sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Bill O’Reilly by former Fox News producer Andrea Mackris was the largest settlement.
Wendy Walsh, who used to be a frequent guest on the show, after The Times report, also called a hotline set up by Fox News and submitted a formal complaint against Bill O’Reilly.
On April 18, more than two weeks after The Times report, Bloom, the lawyer who is representing Wendy Walsh, announced that another woman had come forward.
In a tweet Bloom wrote;
I represent a new woman who just phoned in a complaint of sexual and racial harassment against Bill O’Reilly to the Fox News hotline, the unnamed accuser does not seek a financial settlement, “just accountability.”
President Donald Trump had the following to say about the allegations during an interview with The Times on April 5, 2017;
O’Reilly is “a good person.
I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person.
I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled; because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.
On April 19, O’Reilly released his own statement stating that;
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.
Bill O’Reilly has been marred by claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct for years, but he has maintained his innocence.
O’Reilly had said in a statement on April 1, before Walsh made her complaint to the hotline;
In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.
Before making the decision to sever ties with O’Reilly, Fox News, 21st Century Fox had retained the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to investigate Walsh’s complaint to the hotlines and said that 21st Century Fox investigates all complaints. Thus, they have asked the law firm, Paul, Weiss to continue assisting the company in such serious matters.
According to Nielsen;
The O’Reilly Factor” is Fox News’ most watched program and is coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its history, averaging nearly 4 million viewers per episode.
CNN in a report claimed that the host’s new contract provided about $25 million a year.
Is Bill O’Reilly really just being targeted because of his fame and fortune?
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