21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, recently announced that the company had agreed to pay $20 million to former news anchor Gretchen Carlson to settle allegations of sexual harassment she made against former CEO Roger Ailes. 21st Century Fox also offered a public apology to Carlson and praised her performance at the news network.
In early July, Carlson made headlines after she accused Ailes of years of sexual harassment. According to Carlson’s complaint, she alleged that Ailes encouraged a sexist atmosphere and pushed Carlson play along.
When Carlson complained about the atmosphere and expressed her concerns, she alleges that she was demoted and eventually fired. Carlson also claims that Ailes frequently made comments about her appearance and her body, and told her that the two should have been having a sexual relationship throughout her career.
After Carlson filed her lawsuit, other women at Fox News, including news anchors like Megyn Kelly and Andrea Tantaros, came forward with similar allegations. All of the women claimed that Fox News was run like a “boy’s club” under Ailes’ leadership, and that they were belittled, ogled, and humiliated at work due to their gender. According to the women, it was not uncommon for male managers to demand sexual favors in exchange for promotions or other career opportunities, and those who refused were often penalized.
Initially, Ailes had claimed that Carlson made her allegations in retaliation after her contract was not renewed. Two weeks after Carlson filed her complaint and multiple other allegations surfaced, 21st Century Fox terminated Ailes’ employment even though Ailes himself had founded the network twenty years ago.
Employees who file Fresno sexual harassment complaints often have to deal with skepticism and doubt. Fortunately for Carlson and the other women, Fox News and 21st Century Fox acted quickly to address these issues and issued a rare public statement supporting her claims. Hopefully, cases like these will push other employers to take sexual harassment complaints seriously and work harder to correct problems in their own workplaces.
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