Conservative demigod Bill O'Reilly is in deep trouble this week after several major advertisers announced that they would no longer be supporting his cable news show. The recently re-inflamed allegations of sexual harassment against the host have actually stuck this time, leaving the future of O'Reilly's long and controversial career in jeopardy. The O'Reilly Factor's advertising meltdown is the cherry on top of Equal Pay Day, and this whole situation couldn't be better if it was made up.
Half a dozen companies have already announced that they have pulled advertisements from the show, including Allstate, Constant Contact, BMW of North America, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz. According to CNN, Lexus and Trivago are also considering pulling their advertising support. Thousands of social media commenters have also used the hashtag #GrabYourWallet to pressure more advertisers, such as Credit Karma, H & R Block, and Microsoft, to drop their spots as well, so other major sponsors could join the defectors soon.
It's unclear how many advertisers would have to back out to impact the future of the show, but either way, this is really bad news for the network. According to Peter Hart, the author of The Oh Really? Factor, the show's production budget is bare bones because the entire premise is "merely O'Reilly pontificating from [his] throne." However, between this latest scandal and Roger Ailes' dirty laundry being aired in The New York Times, it could be enough to end O'Reilly's 20-year tenure as the King of Cable.
The O'Reilly Factor's predicament is a perfect example of the importance of Equal Pay Day, because in this country, money really matters. Money is how people support the causes that are important to them, or show their objection to corporate actions. For better or worse, cash is the action item that gives each American a voice in the economy, and it's especially clear today that financially disadvantaging women affects more than just their bank accounts. If women were paid, or valued, the same as men in society, their power to set cultural norms and denounce harmful actions would be magnified, inevitably giving people like O'Reilly less power.
Ultimately, it's still frustrating that it took so long for these allegations to affect O'Reilly — these harassment allegations have been around for more than a decade.