Fox News’ Roger Ailes Will Be Ousted Following Sexual Harassment Allegations, But Will Reportedly Still Get Millions
The horror story sexual harassment allegations against Fox News’ CEO of 20 years are almost endless, ranging from deeply disturbing sexual comments, to exposing himself and asking for oral sex, to offering women career advancement in exchange for sex, to attempting to lock a 19-year-old in a hotel room with him. But thankfully, it appears there will be some justice: Roger Ailes must either resign or face termination, sources briefed on the ongoing investigation of Ailes told New York magazine. At this point, it’s really only a matter of time.
The allegations against Ailes first started rolling in earlier this month when former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the media organization’s CEO and chairman. Carlson claimed to have been fired only after rejecting Ailes’ advances, and as allegations like this against powerful men so often do, Carlson’s claims opened up the floodgates for more than a dozen additional allegations. However, Ailes continues to maintain that the allegations are false.
Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, who preside over Fox News’ parent company 21st Century Fox, reportedly made the decision to oust Ailes earlier this week after the initial findings of the investigation carried out by the New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss. While James wants Ailes to either resign or be fired this week, his father and Lachlan reportedly want “no action taken” until after this week’s GOP convention, New York magazine reported Monday.
On Tuesday, the magazine reported lawyers were giving Ailes until Aug. 1 to resign or be fired. This report followed allegations by Fox News’ most famous female anchor, Megyn Kelly, that Ailes had harassed her, too. Kelly notably kept silent on the issue for weeks after Carlson first accused Ailes, and still hasn’t publicly spoken about her experience, but multiple Tuesday reports claim Kelly has alleged harassment from Ailes to investigators.
It’s worth noting that according to previous reports by New York mag and MSNBC, Donald Trump “had dirt,” potentially related to sexual harassment allegations, on Ailes, which Trump allegedly used for leverage to manipulate Fox News into more positive coverage of his campaign. So, removing and replacing Ailes could have the additional benefit of shaking Trump’s hold.
The initial investigation looking into Carlson’s sexual harassment charges have since led to “a wide-ranging inquiry into Ailes’s controversial management style” and suspicion that Ailes had Fox News offices bugged with recording devices, which required interviews with Fox employees to take place instead at Paul, Weiss’s midtown offices, according to New York mag.
Following the release of New York magazine’s report, 21st Century Fox issued a statement claiming the “matter is not yet resolved and the review is not concluded.” However, the Drudge Report obtained documents saying Ailes will receive at least $40 million from Fox to leave. So, he’ll be gone, but sitting pretty with a check for allegedly sexually harassing women for decades.
Rupert is a supporter of Trump, a known sexist, and Fox News has a long history of broadcasting casually sexist comments (see for yourself in the highlight reel above), not to mention its dedication to never missing an opportunity to malign abortion and the women who seek abortions. It’s refreshing news that the exec will no longer run Fox News, but the fact that he’ll be payed to leave taints the bit of progress achieved.