By M. Swift
On Wednesday it was reported that Bill O’Reilly, top ratings generator for Fox News, sexually harassed a Black clerical worker. Now it appears that O’Reilly was released from the network following just so many allegations, reports, and roughly $13 million paid out.
The Spin Out Zone
Parent company 21st Century Fox released a statement on Wednesday on Bill O’Reilly’s status with the company. In its entirety:
“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.”
Bill O’Reilly has been a part of the Fox News Channel since October 1996 as host of The O’Reilly Report. Prior to that, he was the host of Inside Edition. His contract with Fox News was said to be around $20 million a year.
To say “it took them long enough” is a huge understatement. Sexual harassment in the network has been a thing for years. Women have left the network to go to other networks, they have been moved to different shows, and they have come out of the woodworks about instances of harassment.
The review couldn’t have been that “thorough and careful” if something is just being done about someone like O’Reilly or Ailes. Then again these allegations are messing with Fox News’ money and when your brand starts taking financial L’s, the red alert plan is always “Pull the emergency chute on this and boot them.” The first plan is usually a very soft apology from the parent company, group, or face of the brand.
As for where this leaves O’Reilly, he’s a multi-millionaire and has does other things outside of the show. He could also end up on another network or form his own. We’ll either have to wait and see or take the collective shrug “Who cares?” approach.
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M. Swift writes on Black history for Your Black World and Black Then. He also writes on wrestling, comics, gaming, and Black sci-fi and fantasy.