Megyn Kelly took a more serious route on her talk show Megyn Kelly Today Monday morning than she has over the past few weeks. The host opened up about her experiences with Fox News journalist Bill O'Reilly, who was in the news this weekend for paying $32 million to settle a sexual harassment suit. Right after the case closed, Fox News rehired him.
Kelly responded to O'Reilly's settlement with a segment about her experiences working at the same network as him.
"O'Reilly's suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know, because I complained," Kelly revealed to the Megyn Kelly Today audience.
In her memoir, which she released in November 2016, there was a chapter detailing Roger Ailes and the Fox News sexual harassment scandal, Kelly explained. A clip then played of O'Reilly's response to the chapter, which he was asked about on CBS News, last November. He was quick to shove the question aside. "I'm not interested in making my network look bad. At all," he told the interviewer (who was a woman) aggressively.
That day, Kelly wrote an email to Fox News' co-presidents. She decided to make parts of the email public today, she explained, because she thinks it "speaks volumes about powerful men and the roadblocks one can face in taking them on."
Perhaps he didn't realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across this country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment.
Perhaps he didn't realize that his exact attitude of shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment on grounds that it will disgrace the company is in part how Fox News got into the decade-long Ailes mess to begin with,” Kelly wrote.
Perhaps it's his own history of harassment of women which has, as you both know, resulted in payouts to more than one woman, including recently, that blinded him to the folly of saying anything other than 'I am so sorry for the women of this country who never should have had to go through that.
Bill Shine, one of Fox's co-presidents, was quick to promise her he'd deal with the issue. However, that same evening, O'Reilly appeared on Fox News (with Shine's approval, Kelly claims) attacking Fox's harassment victims with an extremely regressive and toxic viewpoint regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.
If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that person or company allegiance. If you don't like what's happening in the workplace, go to Human Resources, or leave...and then take the action you need to take afterward...but don't run down the concern that supports you by trying to undermine it.
Kelly pegged some blame for Fox News' maltreatment of women on Irena Briganti, Fox News's media relations chief, who Kelly said is "known for her vindictiveness."
"To this day, she pushes negative articles on certain Ailes accusers, like the one you are looking at right now," Kelly said, referring to herself.
Kelly then described how when men like O'Reilly shame women and victims of sexual harassment, they encourage women to stay silent. She concluded the segment by saying: "The abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening, the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact, it has to stop."