Lexie Carmon | Opinion Editor
Last week NBC News anchor and talk show host Megyn Kelly called out Bill O’Reilly on her NBC morning program. Kelly claims that while she was on Fox news she made several complaints about O’Reilly sexually harassing her, however was constantly ignored.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I complained,” stated Kelly during “Megyn Kelly Today.”
Normally Kelly’s program discusses light topics, but the recent discovery on Saturday that claims O’Reilly paid $32 million to a Fox contributor, Lis Wiehl, in January to combat the harassment allegations sparked Kelly to revisit the sore topic.
The report published in the New York Times stated that O’Reilly made the settlement to Wiehl, who alleged that O’Reilly forced her into “a nonconsensual sexual relationship and sent her sexually explicit material.”
In addition, a representative at 21st Century Fox stepped forward and stated that he or she was aware the settlement took place, but said the company was not clued into the financial terms at the time it happened.
Despite the number of allegations, O’Reilly chose to deny the allegations to the New York Times. “I have never mistreated anyone,” said O’Reilly.
However, in April, Wendy Walsh, a psychologist, filed a complaint with 21st Century Fox that accused O’Reilly of going back on his promise to get her a paid contributor position at Fox News after she rejected his advances at a 2013 dinner meeting at Hotel Bel-Air.
O’Reilly took several attempts to sweep his offensive actions under the rug in hopes to keep the company’s reputation protected.
According to The Los Angeles Times, O’Reilly and Fox News made a total of $13 million in payouts to five women who claimed they were sexually harassed or verbally abused by the host over the last 16 years.
“I think that’s crazy because it seems like they don’t care about their [victims] feelings and they just want to make sure their company is straight,” says Amani Madyun, a Hampton University sophomore from Newport News.
Megyn Kelly, however, attempted to refute O’Reilly’s comments by emailing Fox’s co-presidents, Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, just two months before leaving Fox for NBC News.
According to Kelly, O’Reilly said that he wasn’t “interested” in discussing the topic [sexual harassment] and that it makes his network look bad.
“I think if the company didn’t stand up for an employee then the company’s values have now been tarnished,” said BreAnna Wyche, a p2 pharmacy major from Augusta, Georgia, when asked how she feels about a company silencing assault victims.
“Perhaps he didn’t realize his exact attitude of shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment on grounds that it will disgrace the company is in part how Fox News got into the decade-long [Roger] Ailes mess to begin with,” Kelly said. “Perhaps it’s his own history of harassment of women which has, as you both know, resulted in payouts to more than one woman, including recently, that blinded him to the folly of saying anything other than, ‘I am just so sorry for the women of this company, who never should have had to go through that.’”
It’s a shame how a company will try to cover up the scandals and abuse that goes on behind its doors just to keep a good reputation. This kind of behavior is absolutely disgusting and sexually harassed women in the workplace should not be silenced by money. They should be allowed to verbally express how they feel.