Hyundai announced on Monday that it will pull advertising spots slated to air during “The O’Reilly Factor” amid sexual harassment claims leveled at the Fox News host.
The decision came after Mercedes-Benz withdrew its advertising spots following a New York Times investigation that reported Bill O’Reilly and Fox News had paid about $13 million in settlements to address sexual harassment and other behavioral complaints brought forth by five women who previously worked with the host.
New York Times reporter Emily Steel, who co-bylined the bombshell report, tweeted Hyundai’s statement late Monday night. The automaker said it had upcoming spots planned for “The O’Reilly Factor,” but would reallocate them after learning about the “recent and disturbing allegations.”
Mercedes-Benz shared a similar sentiment on Monday.
“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,” Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland said.
In a statement to The New York Times, O’Reilly denied the harassment allegations, adding that his role at the network made him a target.
“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,” O’Reilly said.
Fox News’ executive vice president of advertising sales told The Huffington Post that the network would be addressing concerns with advertisers.
“We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor,” Rittenberg said in a statement. “At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”
O’Reilly’s show is considered the most valuable to the news network, raking in millions of viewers each night during a coveted primetime spot. Fox News reportedly extended his contract, which was set to expire this year.
Also on Monday, on-air contributor Julie Roginsky became the latest Fox News employee to file a sexual harassment complaint against former network chief Roger Ailes. Last year, Ailes stepped down amid widespread sexual harassment claims, led by a lawsuit filed by host Gretchen Carlson. The network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, publicly apologized to Carlson and settled the suit for $20 million.