Fox and its parent company Newscorp /21st Century Fox have finally done what many have deemed is the right thing.
They have parted ways with their most popular on air talent Bill O’Reilly.
Doing anything other than showing O’Reilly the door would have signaled that the company’s top brass had collectively lost their soul.
This is not an issue about how much money they lost thanks to over 60 advertisers who took their dollars elsewhere.
This is not an issue about conservatives versus liberals versus moderates versus independents versus those-who- don’t-care-enough-to-pay-attention.
Politics and money be dammed, this is an issue about human dignity.
The laundry list of accusations that have been lobbed at O’Reilly have weight to them.
And this is not O’Reilly’s first dance with the company’s Human Resources department.
People have a right to come to work and do their job without being sexually terrorized.
The latest claim is from an African American woman that O’Reilly allegedly grunted and leered at while calling her “hot chocolate.”
The news clerk is not asking for financial damages from the former Fox personality or the network.
The alleged actions are horrifying. O’Reilly understands the full weight of what she claims that he did. He understands that by refusing to speak to her (as her complaint states) other than to utter that phrase he is dehumanizing her both as a woman and as an African American.
He has spent time with, debating against and working alongside socially conscious African American journalists and activists.
In short, he knows better.
Life is not a Brazzers movie although he may think otherwise. The behavior in that accusation is mild compared to the actions revealed in litigation that he has settled out-of-court.
In 2004, he settled a case involving a former producer on his show for millions. Why? He allegedly stalked her with explicit phone calls in which he asked her to use sex toys on herself and more.
It is known now that there were other situations to unfold over the horizon. O’Reilly has spent tens of millions of dollars fighting back these charges.
No matter how bad it looked, the network stood behind him. Eventually the term “ride or die’ plays itself out and entities start looking out for their best collective interests.
According to New York Magazine, the Fox team is working up exit strategies to be presented at a 21st Century Fox board meeting on Thursday.
Both in how they handle the selection of a new hosts to fill O’Reilly’s vacated positions and the stance they assume publicly when addressing the matter, lets hope that Fox firmly states that there is not a place for this type of behavior.
Here’s to the hope that before O’Reilly takes advantage of his next opportunity that he will reflect and take the steps needed to heal himself before he continues to stain the psyche of others.