On Tuesday, April 18, the women’s group UltraViolet will lead a protest by survivors of sexual assault in front of Fox News’ headquarters in New York City demanding that the network fire Bill O’Reilly following a recent report by The New York Times, claiming that five women have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the network in exchange for agreeing to not take legal actions or speak about their accusations against the host. According to the paper, the payouts totaled about $13 million.
In addition to the protest, the group will have a plane fly over Manhattan with a banner that reads “FOX: #DROPOREILLY, THE SEXUAL PREDATOR.” The group has also posted signs around Fox News’ midtown HQ asking, “Have you also been sexually harassed by Bill?” The signs also includes a message to the company asking to fire the host.
“Fox News has a problem with sexual assault — and it’s bigger than just Bill O’Reilly,” UltraViolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas said in a statement. “For years, Fox News executives have provided cover for Bill O’Reilly’s systematic harassment and abuse of other Fox New’s employees – making it hard to take their promises to investigate such crimes seriously. Fox News needs to prove to the public – and its advertisers – that the era of covering up sexual assault is over. That means – firing Bill O’Reilly immediately and conducting a comprehensive and independent investigation into sexual abuse at the network – firing anyone involved in, or complicit in covering up, those crimes.”
UltraViolet has also started an online petition calling on advertisers to pull their ads from “The O’Reilly Factor.” According to the group, more than 140,000 people have signed the petition online. “Stop funding sexual harassment. Tell Lexus, Jenny Craig, Rachael Ray, and other companies: Don’t support a serial sexual harasser. Pull all your ads from The O’Reilly Factor,” the petition header reads.