Ethics

Former Fox News Host Says Boss Roger Ailes Demanded Sex

I must apologizing for inserting the mental image in your head, but former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson says her former boss Roger Ailes retaliated and ultimately fired her for refusing to have sex with him.

Carlson has filed a lawsuit against Fox News chairman Jabba the Hutt for responding to her complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace by further harassing her.

Ms. Carlson, who joined Fox in 2005, charges that during a meeting last fall to discuss her concerns about what she considered ill treatment, Mr. Ailes told her: “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.”

When she refused, the lawsuit claims, Mr. Ailes retaliated by reducing Ms. Carlson’s salary, curtailing her on-air appearances and, ultimately, declining to renew her contract last month.

While Carlson's lawsuit is primarily directed at chief Roger Ailes, it also details the working conditions for women at Fox News which, not surprisingly, is an environment where sexual harassment is barely even considered to be a real thing, if at all. Sexual harassment seems more like a matter of routine at Fox.

There's no doubt in my mind that Carlson is hardly alone but other women who are still current employees at Fox may be afraid to speak out lest they also be fired by Roger Ailes.

This is a problem that virtually all women encounter in the workplace at one point or another. It could be happening at your place of business right now and you may not even know it.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Gretchen Carlson chose to work at Fox for over a decades one of their principal mouthpieces. I find my sympathy for her being mistreated is severely limited.

    • Victor the Crab

      And did her job as a willing stooge quite well.

  • Badgerite

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to find out that Fixed News and “Friends” are misogynistic a–holes.

  • Aynwrong

    From what I’ve heard about Roger Ailes it’s hardly surprising that he created his own personal Mad Men universe at Fox. It would be more surprising if he treated his female employees with respect and dignity or showed even a bit of enlightenment.

    I’m assuming this will be just like Andrea Mackris suing O’Reily. They’ll just pretend it’s not happening. Or like when O’Reily lied about Argentina, they’ll just lie and dig in their heels.

    Of course if this was happening at MSNBC or the NY Times, Fox would be all over this.

  • muselet

    There’s no part of this story that’s not disturbing.

    Sadly, there’s also no part of this story that’s surprising.

    –alopecia

  • Username1016

    Troglodyte indeed. I can’t even. Hope she sues his socks off.

    • ew, please, no. The story leaves the imagery in my head of a near-naked-and-ready Roger Ailes – which will put me off my feed for months – and you hadda go and make him naked-er!?!

      Have you no sense of decency? At long last, sir – have you no shame left?

  • If ever there was a “good ol boys” network, Fox is it.

    • Toolymegapoopoo

      Unfortunately, Fox News is unlikely to be only network that regularly operates like this. How many local or national female anchors (non-PBS) can you name who are just regular looking women? I cannot think of any.

      • cleos_mom

        In 1981, KMBC-TV (ABC affiliate) in Kansas City dismissed anchorperson Christine Craft was on the grounds of being “too old, unattractive and” [I’m not making this up!] “not deferential enough to men.” She sued and two years later was awarded $500,000.

        Of course a decade later, political ‘observers’ waxed distraught and distrait over Hillary Clinton’s remark that she wasn’t going to spend her years as FLOTUS “baking cookies.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/11/arts/news-vs-entertainment-news-analysis.html

    • cleos_mom

      But there will never be any shortage of women who think they’ll be The One Great Exception: one of humankind’s most cherished illusions.

  • Draxiar

    The thought of Roger Ailes (troglodyte that he is) having sex with anything is unsettling. I’m glad Gretchen came forward and spoke out. I’m sure the rank and file at FOX are already strapping on armor and polishing their weapons in order to discredit her.

    • JMAshby

      They’ve already started purging anything mentioning her from Fox News websites.

      • Draxiar

        Didn’t take long!