Fox News has fired Bill O'Reilly, one of its long term most popular hosts and money makers. In a statement by Fox News 's parent company, 21st Century Fox published today Wednesday, April 19, 2017, the network said:
"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel."
The firing comes after Bill O'Reilly became a target of a barrage of negative news disclosing that O'Reilly, Fox News and 21st Century Fox had quietly paid out roughly $13 million in settlements to silence five women who had accused him of sexual harassment.
Another woman, who is Black and chose to remain out of the spotlight, added another perspective. Her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, said that Bill O'Reilly used to call the black woman, who worked as a clerical worker at Fox News back in 2008, “hot chocolate”. Lisa Bloom added that Bill O'Reilly "would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar. He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared."
The accusation by the Black woman reminded another one, from O'Reilly attacking US Congresswoman, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).
"I didn't hear a word [NDLR: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)] said. I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it's the same wig."
After widespread outrages over the comments, Bill O'Really apologized, saying:
"As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on Fox & Friends, calling her 'old school.' Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize."
Unfortunately for O'Really, there are many statements qualified as "racist" in his past.
In an interview with then Presidential candidate Donald Trump in April 2016, O'Really said:
“But how are you going to get jobs for them? Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it, but it's true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to get jobs for people who aren't qualified for jobs?”
After receiving criticism for the comments, O’Reilly said:
“Now, the race hustlers who apparently have not walked the streets of poor neighborhoods lately, immediately accused me of racism. And that is why the acute problem of cultural deprivation among underclassed children of all colors is never addressed. The smear merchants hammer anyone who does so. It's beyond disgraceful that powerful people look away from the real problem.”
On other occasions, O’Reilly gave his opinion on how to address the problems of Blacks in America, in an interview with the son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
"Don't abandon your children. Don't get pregnant at 14. Don't allow your neighborhoods to deteriorate into free-fire zones. That's what the African-American community should have on their T-shirts.”
Of course, O'Reilly denied being a racist in these terms.
“I don't know any racists. I don't know anybody, on either black or white people, who don't like, like our staff here is integrated, and my assistant is black, she's been with me for 25 years. I just never see this.”
The questions following allegations against O'Reilly and his firing by Fox News are: is Bill O'Really a racist and has he serially harassed a number of women?.
He was defended by his lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, in a statement:
"Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O'Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly, and it is irrefutable."
The allegations against O'Reilly came less than a year after his former boss, Roger Ailes, was forced out of Fox News, following similar allegations of sexual harassement. Since the allegations, The O'Reilly Factor program has lost about half its advertisers.
It is most likely for that reason that Fox News has decided to fire him.
O'Reilly will be replaced by Tucker Carlson.