By Beverly Gadson-Birch
When news broke last year of Bill O’Reilly’s firing by Fox, he claimed that he was the victim and that the sexual harassment charges from the women were all lies. O’Reilly vowed to set the record straight and that there would be an explosive announcement later which would vindicate him. Fox media, along with O’Reilly, paid out millions of dollars to quash sexual harassment charges and avoid sponsors pulling their ads. Well now, O’Reilly recently paid out $32 million dollars to a Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. Although Fox News knew of the settlement, they hired him back. What does that tell you about Fox executives? I know you did not ask me but it sounds like some type of complicity by Fox News to make light of the serious sexual harassment charges against O’Reilly. What network does that? What network would hire someone back after paying out millions of dollars and losing sponsors?
Since the allegations were made public last year, Fox News host, Sean Hannity, had O’Reilly on his show to promote his book. To me that was a sign of things to come. In other words, Fox News was not writing off O’Reilly. The question remains “why would Fox hire O’Reilly back knowing he had recently paid to settle a lawsuit with Wiehl?” In the meantime, Wiehl left the network to write a book. With $32 million I would leave and do nothing!!! Who pays that kind of money out unless the allegations are true? Fox News should have learned a lesson from previous lawsuits and loss of sponsors and count their losses but it looks like they are in for another round of lost sponsors.
According to CNN, the historic pay-out to settle the lawsuit came months before O’Reilly signed a $25 million a year contract to return to Fox News. Something in the scheme of things just doesn’t add up.
While I am keeping my eyes on how the O’Reilly saga plays out, I am troubled by another case recently in the news.
According to an article written by Natalie Robehmed in Forbes, Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and assaulted more than 50 women during their early careers. The Weinstein Production Company now faces mounting allegations and lawsuits. Weinstein has admitted to a “whole way of behavior that is not good and he placed himself in a position that is stupid”. Some of Weinstein’s victims include famous actresses.
The reason for writing this article is to highlight sexual harassment and abuse by men of power. I am sure there is hardly a woman reading this article that has not been sexually approached, harassed or assaulted. Some women have recovered, but have not forgotten, and gone on to live productive lives. While on the other hand, many are living in dark closets afraid to disclose their secrets. Although I have highlighted two recent high profiled cases, there are many cases of men in general sexually harassing women. Women are told if they want to climb the ladder to success or advance their careers, they must engage in inappropriate sexual acts. It’s a shameful experience and could happen to anyone.
What price must women pay to get ahead? Aren’t women performing the same tasks now as men at a lower pay rate? Why does men prey on innocent women who are just looking for a job? Many are young and looking for their first job or trying to jumpstart their career?
Women in prison are often abused by staff members. No one is safe from sexual predators.
Women are not the only ones sexually assaulted and/or abused; so, are children. Know who your children are with and where they are at all times. Do not trust even your closest friends with your children! According to statistics on children sexual abuse, approximately 93% are abused by someone they know. Monitor your children’s use of cell phones Sexual predators are sending nude pictures over the phone and moving in on very young children. Children are getting in over their head and afraid to tell their parents.
We hear about rape and sexual assault cases that involve the use of weapons but there are many cases that do not and occur under threat of harm to family members if the act is not carried out.
Beware! Sexual predators are everywhere.