Some female Fox News employees have expressed “anguish, distress and concern” over the way the Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment scandal has been handled by the company, according to according to a report from NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik.
The reporter said some of O’Reilly’s co-workers are upset that the host “has been allowed to continue almost un-rebuked” by the network despite having been accused of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior by five different women.
“There’s sort of a contempt for O’Reilly from some of his colleagues, particularly female colleagues,” Folkenflik reported on “Morning Edition” Friday. “And there’s a cynicism about the degree of sincerity with which the Murdoch family and the top executives are operating.”
Folkenflik also pointed out that Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox have only responded to the New York Times report by saying that O’Reilly is “fully committed” to creating a positive work environment for all employees.
“I wonder why women at the network would take that particularly seriously,” he said. “And in fact, the women at the network say they don’t — that they’re not convinced of it.”
Dozens of advertisers have removed their ads from airing during “The O’Reilly Factor” following a New York Times report over the weekend which revealed that Fox News and O’Reilly have settled lawsuits with five women accusing the host of sexual harassment or other misconduct, totaling $13 million.
More than 60 companies have pulled out from the show since Saturday. Among the big-name sponsors dropping the show are Advil, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, BMW, Jenny Craig, Bristol Myers Squibb and Reddi-wip/Con Agra.
TheWrap reported on Thursday that two companies — Crowne Plaza hotels and MyPillow — had their ads played on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Wednesday night despite their explicit requests to the contrary.