Women's rights groups UltraViolet and National Organization for Women (NOW) released statements to The Hollywood Reporter following the news Bill O'Reilly is departing Fox News amidst sexual harassment claims.
"O'Reilly deserves this downfall," said NOW president Terry O'Neill in a press release entitled "Good riddance." She continued, "The many sexual harassment allegations leveled against him reveal a clear and ugly pattern of misogynistic behavior. It would be an insult to women everywhere to allow him to retain his coveted primetime television slot."
"Bill O'Reilly is a serial sexual predator, a bigot, and a misogynist. He will not be missed," said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. A day prior to the Fox News announcement, UltraViolet staged a protest at Fox News headquarters in New York City. They also flew a plane with a banner reading "Fox: #DropOReilly, The Sexual Predator" over the city.
"But Fox News' problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O'Reilly," said Thomas. Her organization said that the next scandal for Fox News might be "just months away" and that it should fire "all those found guilty of, or complicit in, covering up sexual harassment" at the company.
NOW and UltraViolet are both holding Fox News accountable. NOW said Fox News "condoned and even supported O'Reilly's heinous misconduct for years" and said New York City and State authorities should conduct a "thorough, independent investigation" into the "culture of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News."
Read NOW's full statement below:
Bill O'Reilly has been unmasked as a vicious sexual predator-and Fox News has done the right thing by booting him from the network.
O'Reilly deserves this downfall. The many sexual harassment allegations leveled against him reveal a clear and ugly pattern of misogynistic behavior. It would be an insult to women everywhere to allow him to retain his coveted primetime television slot.
Pressure to remove O'Reilly grew when another victim of O'Reilly's came forward this week-an African-American clerical worker who O'Reilly referred to as "hot chocolate." This anonymous woman's report is a chilling reminder of the strong link between sexual and racial harassment-and the desperate need for action.
O'Reilly may be out, but this isn't over. Fox News condoned, and even supported, O'Reilly's heinous misconduct for years-along with former chairman Roger Ailes and, reportedly, other Fox News executives. The public has the right to know the facts about the toxic culture of harassment that appears to be endemic at the network.
NOW is calling for a thorough, independent investigation by New York City and State authorities into the culture of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News, and for appropriate accountability measures to be taken. How else can we be reassured that women will never again be subjected to this inhumane treatment while their harassers continue to pocket eight-figure salaries?
If Fox News wants to show women even an ounce of respect, a lot more needs to happen beyond firing Bill O'Reilly.
Read UltraViolet's full statement below:
"Bill O'Reilly is a serial sexual predator, a bigot and a misogynist. He will not be missed.
"But Fox News' problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O'Reilly. For years, Fox News executives, like Bill Shine, have provided cover for systematic sexual harassment and abuse of Fox News' employees. From Roger Ailes to Bill O'Reilly, Fox News has consistently failed to provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment and abuse - and that's a big problem.
"The fact that Fox News is only taking action against O'Reilly after an investigation revealed that they could be defrauding shareholders by not revealing payments made to cover up the abuse, isn't lost on anyone. The first accusations of sexual assault lobbed against Bill O'Reilly at Fox News were made more than 13 years ago.
"Unless Fox News makes the results of the investigation public, and fires all those found guilty of, or complicit in, covering up sexual harassment - advertisers and the general public will continue to have cause for concern. With reports that dozens of additional women at the network have not yet come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, the next scandal for the network may just be months away.
UltraViolet was one of several groups who called for the firing of O'Reilly as advertisers pull out in the wake of a New York Times story reporting O'Reilly and Fox News allegedly paid $13 million to women who claimed that he sexually harassed them. UltraViolet started its anti-O'Reilly campaign last summer and had recently run ads asking people if they have been harassed by the news anchor.
UltraViolet has also done a campaign against ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes.