Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Globe Special: Fox's Culture of Sexual Harassment

Poor Megan! Trump was the least of her problems.

"Kisses, propositions, and fears of reprisal for women at Fox News" by Jim Rutenberg and Emily Steel New York Times  July 23, 2016

NEW YORK — She politely rebuffed him, she said, apologizing for giving him any wrong impression. After that rejection, she felt caught in a whirlwind in which, she said, network executives canceled her Washington appearances, directed her to report her allegations to human resources and, a few weeks later, let her go.

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes told Rudi Bakhtiar that her tenure was ending because of her performance. Within a few weeks, she went from potentially landing the job she coveted to unemployment. After mediation, she reached a settlement in which Fox News paid her an undisclosed amount.

On Friday, Brian Wilson said of Bakhtiar’s account: “I take strong exception to the facts of the story as you have relayed it to me, period. Beyond that, I will have no further comment.”

Bakhtiar concedes that she agreed in her settlement not to speak of her experience. But she said she was emboldened to step forward by the sexual harassment lawsuit that former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson brought against Ailes this month, and a subsequent investigation that has brought to light at least 10 other claims of improper behavior involving him. Ailes resigned from Fox News on Thursday.

The investigation, which was conducted by Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, focused narrowly on Ailes. But in interviews with The New York Times, current and former employees described instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.

The Times spoke with about a dozen women who said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it.

Two of them cited Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors. With the exception of Bakhtiar, they all spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing embarrassment and fear of retribution. Most continue to work in television and worry that speaking out could damage their careers.

They told of strikingly similar experiences at Fox News. Several said that inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and sex life were frequent. Managers tried to set up their employees on dates with superiors.

Playing matchmaker over there, huh?

In a statement Friday, Julie Henderson, a spokeswoman for 21st Century Fox, said, “As we’ve made clear, there’s absolutely no room anywhere at our company for behavior that disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.”

Several former Fox News employees said that people were afraid to speak up but that many women viewed the behavior there as par for the course in the broadcasting industry, where appearance is so highly valued.

“There is a culture where, not that you accept it, you just deal with it,” one former employee said.

Other women, however, said the environment was not as bad as recent news suggested.... 

Yeah, what is with "them" anyway!


Related: Foxy News Ladies 

I may notice the looks, but I'm more interested in what they are saying -- if I even bother to watch at all.

Most of the time I'd rather just watch a movie.