If money truly does talk, then the future of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News may be in question.
In the wake of a New York Times report that confirmed O’Reilly has paid a total of $ 13 million to five different women to settle their claims of sexual harassment against him, a quartet of advertisers has yanked its business from The O’Reilly Factor.
The companies who have chosen to stop airing commercials on this Fox News program are:
Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW and GSK.
“We had advertising running on The O’Reilly Factor (we run on most major cable news shows) but it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy,” a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
All five of the women who were paid off by either O’Reilly or Fox News itself worked for the star anchor or appeared on his program.
According to The New York Times, they accused O’Reilly of verbal abuse… making lewd comments… making unwanted sexual advances against them… and even calling them on the phone while it sounded like he was jerking off.
One of the five settled lawsuits involved ex-producer Andrea Mackris and made headlines back in 2004.
Another lawsuit centered on Fox News employee Juliet Huddy and was first reported in January.
The other three were never reported on.
Dr. Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and former Fox News guest, has now also gone public with sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly, claiming that at one point he became “hostile” towards her for refusing his advances.
“I’ve been doing sexual harassment cases for 30 years,” says Walsh’s attorney, Lisa Bloom. “What’s going on at Fox News is the worst of any company that I’ve ever been made aware of.”
Along with O’Reilly, she’s citing the resignation last summer of Fox Corp. CEO Roger Ailes, who was accused over the years of sexual misconduct against several employees.
Including such veterans as Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly.
Via its own statement to BuzzFeed, Hyundai said that it “currently has no advertising running on The O’Reilly Factor,” adding:
“We had upcoming advertising spots on the show but are reallocating them due to the recent and disturbing allegations. As a company we seek to partner with companies and programming that share our values of inclusion and diversity.
“We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions.”
GSK, a pharmaceutical company, says it has temporarily put a hold on spots running on The O’Reilly Factor while it “assesses this situation.”
It wants to be sure that its advertising is :conducted in a responsible manner aligned with our values.”
“How many women have to come forward?” Bloom asked previously on CNN’s Reliable Sources. “How many millions of dollars have to get paid before Fox News takes sexual harassment seriously?”
She then compared O’Reilly to comedian Bill Cosby, saying both celebrities have gotten away with their behavior for far too long, simply based on their status.
The O’Reilly Factor the most-watched show on cable news. It has brought in more than $ 446 million in advertising revenue from 2014 to 2016, according to The New York Times.
In response to these allegations, the host has released the following statement:
“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.
“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.”