Bye, Bye Bill O’Reily! Fox News Drops Host Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
Early on Wednesday Bill O’Reilly was photographed with Pope Francis at the Vatican. By the end of the day news had spread that O’Reilly’s reign as the top-rated host in cable news had come to screeching halt.
After the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more, Fox News gave the political commentator the boot. Don’t start cheering for Rupert Murdoch yet, who for years stood by his star host, advertisers pulling out and protest brimming after a Time’s investigation revealed payouts of $13 million to resolve harassment claim were probably huge motivators.
“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 said in a statement.
The network was feeling the pressure, so after repeatedly standing with O’Reilly helping him to reach settlements with five women who had raised complaints of sexual harassment they decided to cut ties before any more advertisers abandoned the show.
In a statement released while on vacation, O’Reilly praised the network, but said it was “tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.”
“But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today,” he said. “I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”