We lost so many luminaries in the past year — Carrie Fisher, Nelsan Ellis, and Gwen Ifill, to name a few. As Christopher Jackson sung Stevie Wonder's "A's," the Emmy Awards In Memoriam segment honored those individuals who passed away in the year since the 2016 ceremony. Then, the otherwise beautiful commemoration hit a snag: Roger Ailes.
Roger Ailes, the man who shaped Fox News into what it is today, passed away in May 2017. Before founding the network in 1996, Ailes spent years working in entertainment, and made a brand out of sensationalizing news. Matt Taibbi of The Rolling Stones claimed in an editorial following Ailes' death that, "The presidency of Donald Trump wouldn't have been possible had not Ailes raised a generation of viewers on [Fox's] paranoid storylines."
Even more concerning, Ailes was also accused of sexual harassment in multiple instances throughout his 50+ year career. After Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes in July 2016, nine other women, including Megyn Kelly, came forward with their own personal accounts of harassment. A further 20 women privately accused Ailes of workplace harassment.
When Ailes died in May 2017, many had a reaction right out of The Wizard of Oz — ding dong, the witch is dead.
Twitter was equally savage regarding Ailes' inclusion in the In Memoriam segment.
Given his legacy, many questioned why Ailes was included in the lineup, and not someone like comedian Charles Murphy.
Tonight's Emmys have certainly been political. While they've roasted Trump, they've also featured Sean Spicer and Roger Ailes.
Perhaps this tweet says it best.
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