After The New York Times reported on Saturday that Fox News and its biggest star Bill O’Reilly paid millions to women over sexual harassment allegations, advertisers began bailing from O’Reilly’s show. The O’Reilly Factor host has now lost at least 22 advertisers, according to ABC News:
The companies are GlaxoSmithKline, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Constant Contact, UNTUCKit, Sanofi, Allstate, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition/Rachael Ray Nutrish, T. Rowe Price, Mitsubishi, Wayfair, MileIQ, Lexus, Bayer, Esurance, Credit Karma, True Car, The Wonderful Company, Society of Human Resources Management, Coldwell Banker and Orkin.
This isn’t the only crisis facing the conservative network. On Tuesday, three women—Tichaona Brown, Tabrese Wright, and Monica Douglas—filed a lawsuit claiming “appalling discrimination” and “years-long relentless racial animus” by Judith Slater, a former senior vice president of accounting at Fox. Douglas alleged that Slater called her “one boob girl” in front of her colleagues after she had breast cancer treatment, according to ABC News. Fox said in a statement:
We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action in terminating Judy Slater before Ms. Brown, Ms. Wright and Ms. Douglas sued in court and even before Ms. Wright and Ms. Douglas complained through their lawyer. There is no place for conduct like this at Fox News, which is why Ms. Slater was fired.
But this conduct appears to be commonplace there. On Monday, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky was the latest in a long list of women—including high-profile on-air talent Gretchen Carlson and Andrea Tantaros—to sue Fox or its former chairman Roger Ailes over sexual harassment. (Ailes resigned from the network last year over allegations of serial sexual harassment.)
Reports of Fox News’ toxic workplace culture are nothing new, but over the past year the network has faced a public-relations crisis unlike any in its history—and it appears to be getting worse. Will it bring down Fox News, the top channel on basic cable in 2016? Not likely. But it’s clear that O’Reilly, cable’s top news program as of two weeks ago, is on the ropes. If he decides to step down, here’s hoping he does it live.