Thursday, July 7, 2016

Gretchen Carlson sues Roger Ailes of Fox News for sexual harassment and retaliation

Yesterday, Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox News (Complaint here). Here are a few of the highlights (lowlights?) she alleges:
Cover of Getting Real
by Gretchen Carlson.

  • Ailes "sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances."
  • Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy harassed her, mocked her, belittled her, treated her as a "blond female prop," and "pull[ed] down her arm to shush her during a live telecast."
  • Carlson complained and Ailes responded by calling her a "man hater" and sexually propositioning her because "sometimes problems are easier to solve" that way.
She also alleges that Ailes treated her worse than "other Fox News hosts who did not complain about harassment and rebuff his sexual advances." Now, I don't want to infer too much here, but that sounds like other hosts traded sexual favors for perks, doesn't it? (but I acknowledge that there are other ways to read it). 

Carlson claims that Ailes retaliated against her by removing her from O'Reilly Factor segments, firing her from Fox & Friends (the morning show) to move her to an afternoon slot, and ultimately firing her by declining to renew her contract on June 23, 2016. 

This case could go away quietly with a confidential settlement agreement... or it could result in media warfare in public - we'll see. Fox News has had some issues with sex discrimination in the past, including this EEOC suit on behalf of Catherine Herridge, and, of course, who could forget the cringe-worthy loofa/falafel allegations against Bill O'Reilly?