The National Organization for Women on Tuesday called for Bill O'Reilly to be fired, following the news of multiple alleged sexual harassment allegations against the Fox News anchor.
Advertisers have started pulling ads from The O'Reilly Factor following a New York Times exposé detailing claims against host O'Reilly and Fox News that resulted in $13 million in payouts from both, according to the report. In a statement, NOW said O'Reilly should be fired and there should be "an immediate independent investigation into the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News."
"The reported use of his powerful position to repeatedly manipulate women reveals a cruel misogyny that runs to the core of his character," wrote NOW president Terry O'Neill. "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."
O'Neill linked the multiple allegations against O'Reilly with the allegations against Roger Ailes, which famously resulted in the Fox News chief leaving Fox while still denying the allegations against him.
"Women have the right to go to work without facing harassment," wrote O'Neill. "Fox News apparently doesn't get that basic concept."
Fox News has reportedly renewed its contract with O'Reilly, despite the claims.
"We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about The O'Reilly Factor," Paul Rittenberg, Fox News executive vp advertising sales, said in a statement regarding the advertisers. "At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs."
O'Reilly has denied the allegations, saying he put "controversies" to rest in order to spare his children. "Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity," O'Reilly said in a statement over the weekend. He did not address the controversy during his Monday-night show. "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."
Since the Times published its report, multiple companies have removed ads from the program, including carmakers Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and BMW. "The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don't feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now." a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
Read the full statement from NOW below:
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.