“Gretchen Carlson Claims Victory for Roger Ailes Ouster: ‘Women Will No Longer Tolerate Sexual Harassment’.” Two weeks after she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss, Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes, he resigned under pressure.
Gretchen may be celebrating but I’m mad as hell. Because along with his walking papers, Ailes is being handed a big fat payout of $40 million. His employer, 21st Century Fox, is even covering his legal expenses to fight Carlson’s lawsuit. Is this truly a victory? If someone deserves to be forced out, they do not also deserve to take home millions of dollars. The fact that fired CEOs are rewarded financially for their mismanagement is frustrating. The fact that Ailes is being paid a huge sum for his misbehavior is sickening. And he’s not even really leaving the company; he’ll remain as a consultant until 2018.
It has long been obvious that Ailes has a penchant for beautiful blondes. Just look at the female anchors on Fox News, or at his wife (who he started dating while she reported to him at NBC.) Once Carlson made her allegations public and Fox started its own internal investigation It quickly became clear that there was substance to them. Just like with Bill Cosby, after one woman was brave enough to speak out others started to do so. But instead of facing jail time like Cosby, Ailes’ “punishment” is receiving a consulting contract and millions of dollars from his employer. Sounds like a sweet retirement deal, not an acknowledgement of any wrongdoing.
In his statement, 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch praised Ailes’ performance and did not even mention the circumstances around his departure. So why is he really being stripped of his position? Rupert’s sons, executive chairman Lachlan and chief executive James, took advantage of Ailes’ fall from grace to get rid of him. This was the excuse they’d been looking for to wrestle control of the business from Ailes.
Failing to directly address the allegations against Ailes is disrespectful to the women who were subjected to unfair treatment and a hostile work environment. I hope Gretchen wins a bundle from her lawsuit. Fox’s actions resulted in a pyhrric victory for the accuser and a big fat financial windfall for the accused.