Earlier this week, The New York Times published an investigation that revealed both O’Reilly and his network have paid about $13 million in settlements relating to sexual harassment allegations over the period of his employment. Throughout the years, multiple women have claimed O’Reilly acted inappropriately toward them.
O’Reilly has denied the various allegations — with support from President Donald Trump. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled,” Trump said during an interview at the Oval Office Wednesday. “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
But regardless of the new information, O’Reilly already has a documented history of troubling and sexist relationships to women that should have made advertisers queasy a long time ago.
The Huffington Post just resurfaced a frustrating example of O’Reilly on the record where the host expressed that female anchors should be sexy and embrace their looks, saying, “Eleanor Roosevelt is not going to be anchoring your weekend news, OK?”
The statement came in 2002, after his former colleague at Fox News, Paula Zahn, got frustrated that CNN advertised her new show on that network, “American Morning” as “sexy.”
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, O’Reilly told reporters that Zahn was just being politically correct. “If Paula Zahn doesn’t think she’s there partially because she’s a good-looking babe, then she’s in never-never land,” he said.
“If Paula Zahn doesn't think she's there partially because she's a good-looking babe, then she's in never-never land.”
Here’s the CNN advertisement in question:
After longtime television executive Roger Ailes lost his job last year over sexual harassment allegations from employees, 21st Century Fox claimed that such behavior would never be tolerated again.
“The O’Reilly Factor” is still scheduled to air a new episode tonight.