Following reports earlier today that Fox News was preparing to sever ties with longtime host Bill O’Reilly, it’s been confirmed that the conservative news critic has officially received his pink slip from Fox.
According to Reuters, Fox News has decided to part ways with star host Bill O’Reilly following multiple allegations of sexual harassment, including one black woman who says O’Reilly often referred to her as “hot chocolate” and would make grunting noises at her when passing her desk.
O’Reilly previously stated said that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence, and Marc Kasowitz, O’Reilly’s lawyer, stated on Tuesday that the television host “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”
However, reports of the 20-year Fox News host causing the network to pay out five women in a total of $13 million to settle harassment claims, had many people outraged. O’Reilly said in the statement at the time that he had settled only to spare his children from the controversy. But following the NY Times report, advertisers, including BMW of North America, Allstate Corp, French pharmaceuticals, and T. Rowe Price, pulled their advertising from O’Reilly’s primetime “The O’Reilly Factor” show.
“The O’Reilly Factor” is the top-rated show on Fox News, having brought in $147.13 million in advertising revenue in 2016.
The firing of O’Reilly comes after former Fox News Chairman, Roger Ailes, was forced to resign in July of last year, after being accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women.