Fox Television Group co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden addressed sexism in the industry, and recent scandals at Fox News, during her appearance at TheWrap’s annual TheGrill media conference on Monday.
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Walden and fellow co-chairman Gary Newman were asked about the continued allegations of sexual misconduct against Fox News employees, and both executives said that they believe that the company founded by Rupert Murdoch is a place that fosters advancement for women.
“As a woman in this organization, I can say that I don’t ever feel that I was discriminated against or prevented from opportunities,” Walden said. “I’ve never felt from Lachlan or James or Rupert [Murdoch] that my opportunities at this organization are limited because I’m a woman.”
But she pointed out that many old-guard media companies have issues involving gender-based discrimination.
“I have a lot of deep feelings about the industry,” Walden said. “I think if any of the boulders were turned over in any old-legacy media company, they’d probably find the same issues running around like crabs when you roll a rock. You’d find the same problems in any legacy company.”
She continued, “Times have changed. It’s no longer permissible to have sexist comments, but growing up in this industry, I spent time in many other organizations where it was just commonplace for men to talk about how a woman looks or give a woman a little bit of a harder time in a meeting and then say, ‘I’m just joking — it’s because I care about you.’ That’s any legacy business. Times have changed, and our organization is changing with the times.”
Walden also weighed in on Sunday night’s Las Vegas shooting and whether broadcast TV should be limiting violent content.
“We are providing a platform to creators who are expressing their emotions, they are expressing what they are feeling — fears, joys, terror,” she said. “That’s what art is about, and we don’t want to censor it, but neither would we permit violence which feels gratuitous or glorified to be on our platform. We have a lot of smart people who are largely advocating for gun control through their art in various manners.”