Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against ex-Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes resulted in his resignation from the company on Thursday, and the former anchor and her team hope that the events help women in the workplace going forward.
“Within just two weeks of her filing a lawsuit against Roger Ailes, Gretchen Carlson’s extraordinary courage has caused a seismic shift in the media world. We hope that all businesses now understand that women will no longer tolerate sexual harassment and reputable companies will no longer shield those who abuse women. We thank all the brave women who spoke out about this issue. We will have more to say in coming days as events unfold,” Carlson’s attorneys Erika Smith and Martin Hyman said in a statement to TheWrap.
Ailes resigned as chairman and CEO of Fox News effective immediately and 21st Century Fox Executive Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch will assume his responsibilities until a permanent replacement is named.
The man credited with founding the network exits in disgrace after former “Real Story” host Carlson sued him on July 6 for sexual harassment. The lawsuit against Ailes claims that he sexually propositioned her, then fired her in retaliation after she complained about discrimination and harassment. Ailes has called her claims “false” and “offensive” and promised a vigorous defense.
Numerous Fox News employees have publicly defended Ailes, but at least 20 other women have come forward and told Carlson’s team that they faced similar harassment from Ailes, according to The Guardian.
Ailes was named the founding CEO of Fox News in 1996 and the network quickly gained popularity while he called the shots. Fox News is now regularly among the most-watched networks in all of cable and dominates the cable news category.