Gretchen Carlson Reveals Eye-Opening Sexual Harassment While Working In TV

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Gretchen Carlson penned a powerful op-ed in the New York Times that revealed a disturbing case of harassment in the TV industry long before her famous lawsuit.

In July of 2016, the former Fox News host sued Roger Ailes, the then-head of Fox News, for sexual harassment. Her case against Ailes was settled in September, reportedly for the sum of $20 million. Carlson's brave harassment reveal sparked over 20 women to come forward and speak out against Ailes, who resigned shortly after Carlson filed her lawsuit.

In her new essay for The NY Times, Carlson reveals that her encounter with Ailes wasn't the first time that she was harassed as a woman working in television. She was previously harassed by a cameraman early into her first television job:

"I found myself alone in the news van with a cameraman I barely knew, and our conversation went from normal chitchat to something much more sinister," she writes. "He wanted to know how I felt when he put the microphone under my shirt and touched my breasts."

Carlson's revelation is disturbing — and yet, not surprising. The case against Ailes has already shown the world an ugly side of the television industry, one still rife with sexism, in which harassment often happens behind closed office doors. However, as Carlson points out in her piece, the TV industry isn't the only place with a toxic culture: the National Women’s Law Center reports that nearly half of women have been sexually harassed at work. A scandal within the television industry may make headlines, but harassment itself is hardly an anomaly.

Yet, Carlson has hope that we can challenge the sexist standards in the collective workplace. First, by making it easier for women to report harassment and to do so without secret contracts so that women can see that others have spoken out. Equally as important is bringing men into this fight and having them call out their male peers for sexist or lewd behavior.

"The most important part of this, in my mind, is men and women working together," writes Carlson. "This is not only a women’s issue. It’s a societal issue."

Hopefully, by challenging the status quo, Carlson will help women who are suffering learn that they can do the same.
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