Bill O’Reilly Responds To His Fox News Ouster By Continuing To Defend Himself
In response to news that conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to Fox News, the man himself responded in a statement by calling the sexual harassment allegations against him "completely unfounded" and stating that he wishes "only the best for Fox News Channel."
News of O'Reilly's ouster from Fox came down earlier on April 19 after mounting pressure from protesters and advertisers to fire the Fox News veteran amid allegations of sexual harassment. Those allegations came to a head early in April when The New York Times published an exposé alleging that O'Reilly and Fox shelled out a total of $13 million to settle lawsuits involving the O'Reilly Factor host, some of which included suits alleging that the pundit sexually harassed former employees.
Just a day prior to Fox's confirmation that O'Reilly would indeed be leaving the network, another woman came forward with allegations of racial and sexual harassment, as well as reports that the Murdoch family (who owns Fox) was considering firing the host.
When the most recent allegations against O'Reilly first came to light earlier in April, the host denied the claims in a statement:
Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.
Despite recent sexual harassment allegations acting as the impetus for O'Reilly's ouster, they were not the first time the host had been accused of harassment or other forms of alleged misconduct. According to the Times' initial story reporting the millions in alleged settlements, accusations of sexual harassment at Fox against O'Reilly go as far back as 2002 and as recently as summer 2016, when the so-called "king of cable news" settled a lawsuit with former Fox News host Juliet Huddy.
O'Reilly has also been accused outside of the workplace — during custody proceedings in 2015, O'Reilly was accused of domestic abuse against his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy.
Along with loss in ad revenue when sponsors began pulling their ads from The O'Reilly Factor when this story first broke, much of the pressure to oust O'Reilly was brought on by massive public outcry following the Times' April 1 article. That outcry most recently included protests at Fox HQ in New York just a day prior to their announcement that he would not be returning to his show.
O'Reilly's 20-year-tenure at Fox News and his role as the "king of cable news" appears to be at an end based on massive public pressure to fire him. The slot formerly occupied by The O'Reilly Factor will now be filled by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.