UltraViolet on Fox News Firing Bill O’Reilly: This is a Win Against Sexual Predators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CONTACT:  Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 | brett@unbendablemedia.com

UltraViolet on Fox News Firing Bill O’Reilly: This is a Win Against Sexual Predators 

Says O’Reilly Was Just Symptom of Larger Cultural Problem at Fox News, Says Independent Public Investigation Is Only Way to Restore Public, Advertiser Trust in the Network

NEW YORK — Moments ago, 21st Century Fox announced that they would be cutting ties with Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News.

For weeks, Bill O’Reilly had faced uncertainty about his future at the network after an investigation by The New York Times revealed that Fox News spent more than $13 million defending O’Reilly from allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior over the last 13 years.  More than 60 advertisers dropped O’Reilly’s show in an effort to distance themselves from the serial sexual abuser.

In reaction to the news, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, issued the following statement:

“Bill O’Reilly is a serial sexual predator, a bigot, and a misogynist.  He will not be missed, and because 21st Century Fox fired Bill O’Reilly, the female employees at Fox News will be slightly safer.

“But Fox News’ problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O’Reilly.  For years, Fox News executives, like Bill Shine, have provided cover for systematic sexual harassment and abuse of Fox New’s employees.  From Roger Ailes to Bill O’Reilly, Fox News has consistently failed to provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment and abuse – and that’s a big problem. 

“The fact that Fox News is only taking action against O’Reilly after an investigation revealed that they could be defrauding shareholder by not revealing payments made to cover up the abuse, isn’t lost on anyone.  The first accusations of sexual assault lobbed against Bill O’Reilly at Fox News were made more than 13 years ago.”

“Unless Fox News makes the results of the investigation public, and fires all those found guilty of, or complicit in, covering up sexual harassment – advertisers and the general public will continue to have cause for concern.  With reports that dozens of additional women at the network have not yet come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, the next scandal for the network may just be months away.”

Since August 2016, UltraViolet has called for Fox News to fire Bill O’Reilly and launch a full investigation into sexual harassment and abuse at the network.

  • Earlier today, UltraViolet released a new online video ad targeting members of the board of 21st Century Fox ahead of their board meeting Thursday to decide the fate of Bill O’Reilly.  The video documents stories of women sexually-harassed by Bill O’Reilly.
  • On Tuesday, April 18th, members of UltraViolet and survivors of sexual assaultprotested at Fox News’ HQ’s in New York City demanding the company fire Bill O’Reilly.
  • In addition to the protest, UltraVIolet commissioned a plane to fly around Manhattan with a banner reading “FOX: #DROPOREILLY, THE SEXUAL PREDATOR.
  • Members of UltraViolet also placed posters around Fox New’s midtown HQ asking Have you also been sexually harassed by Bill?with the message to Fox News that it is time to #DropOReilly.
  • Nearly 300 survivors of sexual assault signed onto an UltraViolet letter to 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch demanding accountability for sexual harassment and assault at Fox News urging Murdoch to fire Bill O’Reilly.
  • Earlier this week, UltraViolet renewed online ads asking Fox News employees, “Have You Been Sexually Harassed by Bill?”
  • In August 2016, following claims that Andrea Tantaros was sexually harassed by Bill O’Reilly, UltraViolet called for the O’Reilly Factor host to be immediately suspended, and a full investigation launched into sexual harassment and abuse at the news network.
  • In January 2017, after the New York Times reported that Roger Ailes secretly settled sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly, UltraViolet demanded the network fire O’Reilly.
  • UltraViolet launched and maintains an online ad campaign targeting Fox News employees with an ad reading: “Have You Been Harassed by Bill?
  • More than 79,000 UltraViolet members have signed onto a petition calling on 21st Century Fox to fire Fox News CEO Bill Shine and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly over their role in taking part in and covering up abuse at Fox News.
  • More than 60,000 UltraViolet members have signed onto a petition calling on advertisers to the O’Reilly Factor and Fox News to cut ties with the network over the lack of accountability for sex crimes.

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UltraViolet is an online community of over 1,00,000 women and men who take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media. Find out more at WeAreUltraViolet.org