Fox News fires Bill O'Reilly after sexual harassment accusations

Candice Alexander
April 21, 2017

That's it then. Fox News Channel has axed America's top cable star Bill O'Reilly from his show the O'Reilly Factor after sexual harassment allegations from five women.

The "Late Show" host, who largely based his "Colbert Report" conservative pundit persona on the former Fox News anchor, kicked off Wednesday's show by devoting much of his opening monologue to the news of O'Reilly's ouster from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations.

President Donald Trump, an avid Fox News watcher, had leapt to O'Reilly's defense following the New York Times report, calling him "a good person".

Powers said that she then went to O'Reilly's executive producer and said, "He needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again, or I am not doing his show anymore". FILE - In this October 1, 2015 file photo, host Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel, poses for photos in the set in NY. Women's rights groups and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James delivered a petition with 480,000 signatures to the network as survivors of sexual harassment and assault spoke just steps from the Fox News studios.

Colbert went on to say that he and O'Reilly didn't see "eye to eye on anything", but that having him gone was a huge deal. Greene disclosed her allegations to The Times in the fall but chose to go on the record this week.

It also prompted dozens of companies to drop advertisements on "The O'Reilly Factor", long the most watched show on cable news.

He had been scheduled to return from a holiday next Monday.

"In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline", he added.

As to what his departure means for the future of Fox News, Binning said he's not sure.

O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard are due to release another book in the "Killing" series in September, and a spokeswoman for publisher Henry Holt and Co. said that plans had not changed.

He and the network ultimately paid $13 million to settle with five women over the course of several years, according to an investigation by The New York Times published earlier this month.

His departure is a significant blow to Fox News, which has dominated the prime-time cable news ratings in recent years.

O'Reilly's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, claimed that his client was being subjected to a "brutal campaign of character assassination" and that there is a smear campaign orchestrated by far-left organisations bent on destroying O'Reilly for political and financial reasons.

"If white people don't have it good in the USA, then which race does?"

Representatives at Fox News and its parent, Twenty-First Century Fox, were not immediately available for comment about how O'Reilly might be replaced.

Up to last week, the effects O'Reilly's scandal had on his program appeared mixed. "I think he's still a hot commodity". Olbermann said that when he was working at Fox Sports in 1999, he helped a friend get a job at Fox News.

Other reports by VgToday

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