Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that multiple women received money from either Bill O’Reilly or 21st Century Fox after sexual harassment allegations. Now, the women's rights group UltraViolet plans to protest outside Fox News' headquarters, calling for the news anchor to be ousted.
The protest is set to begin Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. EST outside Fox News headquarters in New York. New York Times reporter Emily Steel tweeted about the protest, saying the group also got a plane to fly a banner around New York that reads: “FOX:
#DROPOREILLY, THE SEXUAL PREDATOR.” UltraViolet's Facebook event for the protest says, "It's incredibly important and timely because right now, Fox News executives are deciding whether sexual predator Bill O'Reilly gets to come back on air and continue making millions of dollars or not." The anchor is currently on a vacation he claims was planned last fall, and there's speculation about whether or not he'll return to the air.
UltraViolet also started a petition on its website, asking people to sign and tell 21st Century Fox: "Clean up the disgusting culture of sexual abuse at Fox News." UltraViolet doesn't want O'Reilly to go down alone; the group writes on its petition page: "That's not all — the new CEO, Bill Shine, knew about O'Reilly's and former harasser-in-chief Roger Ailes's behavior and helped them cover it up. Clearly, Fox isn't done putting women in danger."
According to The Times' report, O'Reilly and the company paid five women a total of $13 million not to sue or talk about their accusations of misconduct. All the women either worked for O'Reilly or were on his show, The O'Reilly Factor, at some point, and the allegations ranged from inappropriate comments to a phone call during which O'Reilly seemed to be masturbating.
After the news broke, advertisers quickly began dropping off from The O'Reilly Factor, and 21st Century Fox hired a law firm to look into one accusation against the news anchor. On Friday, The Times reported that O'Reilly might have been one reason former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly decided to leave the network for NBC. After Kelly's book came out, claiming Ailes (who was ousted from Fox last summer amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct) sexually harassed her, O'Reilly said on his show, "Look, it’s open season. Let’s whack the Fox News Channel. I’ve had enough of it. It’s a good place to work. All right?"
After Kelly reportedly complained about O'Reilly's comments to Fox News executives, he went back on the defensive, saying on The O'Reilly Factor, “If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave.” The Times reported that O'Reilly's behavior and uncertainty that Fox News would actually change after Ailes left contributed to her departure.
UltraViolet wants O'Reilly out, with its Facebook event saying, "Fox News is perpetuating rape culture by protecting serial sexual harasser Bill O'Reilly. He needs to go now."