Fox News’s decision to fire Bill O’Reilly over his history of sexual harassment allegations is a big deal. O’Reilly has been the most influential voice on cable news for years, and it took significant pressure from advertisers to finally get Fox to part ways with their star.
In an internal memo explaining the decision to fire O’Reilly, Fox News’s owners stated their “consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”
The problem is: O’Reilly’s replacements aren’t much of an improvement. Fox’s new primetime lineup is stacked with network personalities with their own histories of harassing women, including guests and even co-hosts. And it’s not just primetime -— on-air harassment has been a recurring element in Fox News’s programming for years, especially on shows like Fox & Friends.
That on-air harassment reflects a deeper problem at Fox News. A New York Times investigation found a culture of harassment at Fox, with multiple women reporting inappropriate behavior from their supervisors. Last July, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes resigned after widespread allegations of sexual harassment. But Ailes’s replacements have problems of their own. Co-president Jack Abernethy has been accused of retaliating against an employee when she rejected his advances, while co-president Bill Shine is reported to have played a central role in helping cover up sexual harassment allegations at Fox.
O’Reilly’s firing is said to be indicative of a broader change at the network, and Fox has reportedly ordered its employees to attend hour-long sensitivity training sessions. But given the new lineup of personalities who have their own patterns of mistreating women on-air, the network isn’t showing signs of an overhaul just yet.
Watch the video above to see why firing O’Reilly isn’t enough to fix Fox News’s culture of harassment.