Sci-tech

O'Reilly advertisers risk reputation, but viewers remain

O'Reilly advertisers risk reputation, but viewers remain

HILL: And I do - I would just add that if, in fact, Fox wants to convince its consumers - if Fox wants to convince its advertisers that it is not a place that supports and suborns sexual harassment, they're going to have to, not only make some very hard choices, as they would, I'm sure, in the case of firing Bill O'Reilly, but they're also going to have to reform their own internal processes, which also seem to be quite lacking in terms of making sure that these complaints are taken seriously and that the entire environment is not permeated with this kind of toxic activity.

In total, at least 24 advertisers have so far withdrawn support.

The suggestion that O'Reilly may be a vile, lecherous sleaze isn't exactly new. One woman alone reportedly received $9 million.

Waters said she wasn't surprised to see the president coming to O'Reilly's aid. In fact, in 2015, Noisey put together "A brief history of Bill O'Reilly knowing dick about hip-hop", a movement which he has, throughout his show's history, bandied about as uniformly violent, and somehow a lesser, more base form of popular culture than, say, his own contribution of churning out endless books about killing presidents.

That said, the boycott is not unproblematic given that it seems to be a reaction to pressure from women's groups that hate O'Reilly's guts, not companies' acting out of their free will. On Tuesday afternoon, the Fox News host accused Lemon of not covering Susan Rice, Barack Obama's former national security advisor who has been accused by Donald Trump of mishandling national intelligence information.

In the aftermath of allegations against founder Ailes, Fox initiated a company investigation which led to Ailes' eventual resignation, and the network offered a public apology to former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

But the O'Reilly situation is distinct from those prior firestorms for a few reasons.

The president has been in the same shoes as Bill O'Reilly.

"How many women have to come forward?" said Lisa Bloom, an attorney for one of the women who accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Meanwhile, the number of ads to run on the "Factor" has steadily declined.

But however coveted those viewership numbers might be, brands must consider the impact of their affiliation with O'Reilly and the Fox New Network given their apparent culture of ongoing sexual misconduct and claims of abuse by so many female employees. The Trump scandal dominated all other network coverage, but Fox News ignored it.

The activists who organized the hugely successful Women's March on Washington have been advocating a boycott online, encouraging their almost 500,000 Twitter followers to share their stories of workplace harassment using #DropOReilly.

The reporting of these settlements has triggered a collective corporate conscience that, until now, we had no reason to believe existed. On Thursday, more than 40 companies had said they weren't running commercials on O'Reilly's show, according to CNN, which has maintained a count.

"We have been informed, however, that programming changes may not become effective immediately". They say women are after money. "The advertising strategy we have long used at Angie's List is meant to reach as many people as possible with news that our service exists and is available to them. And, I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them". "It's very sad because he's a very good person".


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