After years of sexual harrassment allegations, Fox News has forced Bill O’Reilly out of his position as a prime time host with the network. O’Reilly has been with the network for two decades and was one of the most popular commentators on television.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, said in a statement.
Fox News had been under fire as a New York Times investigation revealed that despite mounting sexual harassment allegations, the network still stood by O’Reilly.
According to the NY Times investigation, 21st Century Fox and Mr. O’Reilly had reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
Since the investigation, over 50 advertisers cut ties with O’Reilly’s show. With such heavy backlash, the Murdoch family who controls 21st Century Fox was pressured to finally do something.
The Murdoch family enlisted the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to investigate Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior after one woman called the company’s hotline to complain. Many other complaints soon followed.
So who’s taking O’Reilly’s spot? The 8 p.m. Eastern slot will be filled by Tucker Carlson. “The Five,” an ensemble political round table, will then shift to 9 p.m. from the afternoon.
Mr. O’Reilly, 67, has denied the allegations against him.
In a letter to the staff Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, as well as the top executives at 21st Century Fox, said that O’Reilly was “one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. His success, by any measure, is indisputable.”