It’s been a controversial couple of weeks for Roger Ailes. Following the departure of Gretchen Carlson from Fox News, she filed a sexual harassment claim against Ailes, which alleged, among other things, that “Ailes has unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”
The complaint continues: “When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way.”
Ailes has fired back at the lawsuit, attributing them to her low ratings (which, to his credit, were falling). However, six other women have come forward alleging sexual harassment from Ailes. Only two spoke on the record, the other four anonymously, and claim that they cases date back to the late 1960s, and 1989, respectively.
Now, it’s apparently battle of the women of Fox, as female anchors are now coming forward in Ailes’ defense.
A growing contingent of Fox News employees are coming forward to publicly support embattled chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in the wake of the sexual harassment claims by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.
“I have had a great personal and professional relationship with Roger. He’s always been very open. We’ve had a lot of great one-on-one conversations,” Martha MacCallum, who co-hosts America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer, tells The Hollywood Reporter. MacCallum, who has been at Fox News for 12 years, describes Carlson’s allegations as “shocking. Everybody I know at Fox was shocked.”
“I was very surprised and a little bit confused,” adds Sandra Smith, who hosts the all-female afternoon program Outnumbered and came to Fox News in 2007 from Bloomberg.
Mercedes Colwin, a Fox News legal analyst since 2005 and a veteran employment lawyer, says she was “furious” when she heard about the suit.
The women join a list of female Fox News employees including Greta Van Susteren, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, a former New York prosecutor, who have come to the defense of Ailes. Megyn Kelly, the most high-profile female anchor on the network, has yet to speak out about the controversy.
Who do you guys think is right? Let me know in the comments – because honestly I have no idea.