Fox News has officially parted ways with longtime host Bill O’Reilly, the network announced Wednesday, April 19.
O’Reilly’s firing comes amid a slew of sexual harassment claims made by women who used to work for the network.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” parent company 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
Tucker Carlson is set to takeover the popular 8PM time slot with “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Media reps for Fox News didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The end is reportedly near for Fox News star Bill O’Reilly, according to numerous reports.
Citing trusted network sources, several news outlets have reported that Fox News Channel execs are leaning toward firing the longtime host amid new allegations he sexually harassed a Black female co-worker.
Network sources told New York Magazine that James and Lachlan Murdoch, sons of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch, are pushing for O’Reilly to be fired. A “well-placed source” cited by by CNN touted similar claims, saying representatives for Fox and O’Reilly had begun “talking about an exit.” The Wall Street Journal also reported that the network was looking to cut ties with the embattled host.
“A final resolution on the fate of Mr. O’Reilly, host of ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ could come as early as the next several days,” according to the newspaper.
Fox News is no longer answering questions about whether O’Reilly will return to his show. News of his rumored firing comes just weeks after it was revealed that the network paid nearly $13 million in settlements to five ladies who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment.
A new accuser came forward Tuesday, April 19, alleging that the political commentator frequently referred to her as “hot chocolate” when she worked for the network in 2008, The New York Daily News reported.
“He would walk by her desk … and make grunting noises like an animal and wait for her to get off the elevator first and look at her backside and say, ‘Looking good, girl,'” said lawyer Lisa Bloom, who’s representing the unnamed Black woman. “He would look at her cleavage and legs and call her ‘hot chocolate.'”
Bloom went on to say that her client was emboldened to report her claims to Fox after five other women also accused O’Reilly of making lewd comments and sexual advances. The unnamed woman was scared she’d be fired if she reported the broadcaster years ago.
O’Reilly attorney Marc E. Kasowitz denounced the woman’s claims, saying they were part of a larger conspiracy to tank the Fox News host’s career.
“It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact,” said Kasowitz told The New York Daily News. “There is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity-driven donations.”
Bloom said there are at least three other witnesses who can back her client’s story.
More than 40 advertisers have pulled their support from “The O’Reilly Factor” ever since the onslaught of sexual harassment claims.
A group of anti-O’Reilly protesters gathered at the Fox News headquarters in New York Tuesday, calling for his termination. The broadcaster is currently vacationing in Italy, however, and wasn’t around to see the demonstrations.
“He’s immoral! Lock him up!” the crowd chanted.
Protester Jillian Mulvihill, 70, called O’Reilly’s behavior “unacceptable.”
“I’ve worked for guys like this,” Mulvhihill told The New York Daily News. “I know what they’re like.
“They’re very powerful and they will take advantage of that power.”