Statement by NOW President Terry O’Neill
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.
M.E. Ficarra, firstname.lastname@example.org, 951-547-1241