Roger Ailes, Fox News’ CEO for 20 years, and the man you built it into today’s powerhouse, has resigned. Ailes has come under fire recently with a series of sexual harassment lawsuits from former and current employees of Fox publication against Ailes.
Gretchen Carlson filed an official lawsuit against Ailes earlier this month following leaving the network in June. She claims that her contract was not renewed because she continuously refused sexual advances from Ailes. Allegedly when Carlson was in a meeting last fall to discuss her concerns that she was receiving unfair treatment, Ailes said “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.” After rejecting him again, her salary was reduced with less on-air appearances and then her contract was not renewed.
Ailes is trying to move the harassment case against him to a closed arbitration panel in New York. This would mean the details would be much less public.
Carlson responded to this with a video she posted on Twitter. “Forcing victims of sexual harassment into secret arbitration proceedings is wrong because it means that nobody ever finds out what really happened. We need to stand together with all of the victims and make sure that they are not silenced,” said Carlson in the video.
Carlson’s Lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith previously stated that she has been contacted by other women who have claimed to also be sexually harassed by Ailes.
Then earlier this Monday, New York magazine reported that Megyn Kelly, former Fox News anchor has also accused Ailes of sexual harassment.
“According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail,” writes New York magazine.
The day following the New York article, The Drudge Report claimed Ailes was leaving his post with a 40+ million severance package. However, this was quickly denied by Fox. “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. And the only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement,” said a Murdoch rep.
Ailes continues to deny Carlson’s allegations and Fox has stated that Carlson was cut from the network due to low ratings. “The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson” was the lowest-rated daytime program for the network.
Carlson also previously praised Ailes in a book published last year when she thanked him for helping her career and said he was “the most accessible boss I’ve ever worked for.”
Shelley Ross, TV news executive, has been previously quoted saying that Ailes also made inappropriate remarks to her during her job interview. But, she was quick to defend Ailes in a recent email.
“I have had many bosses throughout my career; Roger turned out to be one of my favorites,” wrote Ross. “If you want to expose disgusting immoral behavior in network and cable news, I have much better candidates about whom you could write.”
Nonetheless, all of the allegations have sparked a full on investigation by Fox. Since Carlson filed the suit, nine women have come forward and have claimed to be victims of sexual harassment during Ailes’ time as a media executive.