The National Organization for Women (NOW) on Tuesday called for Bill O’Reilly to be fired following reports that he sexually harassed female employees at Fox News.
The New York Times reported Saturday that O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox, the parent company for Fox News, had paid a combined $13 million to five women to keep them from pursuing litigation or speaking out publicly about accusations of sexual harassment against him.
“The report indicates that Mr. O’Reilly abused his position of power and engaged in a pattern of predatory, misogynistic behavior–enticing women with promises of career advancement, and threatening retribution when they rebuffed his sexual advances,” NOW President Terry O’Neill said in a statement Tuesday. “The reported use of his powerful position to repeatedly manipulate women reveals a cruel misogyny that runs to the core of his character.”
O’Reilly has faced a wave of backlash since the Times report was published, and some companies have pulled ads from airing during his show, The O’Reilly Factor.
NOW also called for an investigation into “the culture of sexual harassment” at Fox News.
“For too long women have endured dangerous sexism at the hands of powerful men and powerful institutions,” O’Neill said in her statement. “Fox News is too big and too influential to simply let this go. Women have the right to go to work without facing harassment. Fox News apparently doesn’t get that basic concept.”
O’Reilly has said the accusations lack merit, and in a statement to the Times, 21st Century Fox said it had looked into the matter in recent months. Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.