Perpetually angry white man Bill O’Reilly, who behaves as terribly as stale urine smells, may be on his way out at Fox News. Sources have told New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman that the Murdoch family, which owns parent company 21st Century Fox, is “leaning toward announcing that O’Reilly will not return to the air”—a decision that was once unfathomable considering that O’Reilly helms cable TV’s most-viewed news program.
The deliberations come weeks after the New York Times reported that Fox settled at least five sexual harassment complaints against O’Reilly for $13 million. Since then, at least two other women have come forward alleging inappropriate behavior. On Tuesday, attorney Lisa Bloom announced that a former employee, who is black, said that O’Reilly used to call her “hot chocolate” and “grunt at her like a wild boar.”
As a result, the O’Reilly Factor has reportedly lost over half of its advertisers and protesters have gathered outside of Fox News’s headquarters demanding that Fox fire O’Reilly. O’Reilly, meanwhile, has taken an interestingly-timed vacation.
Though O’Reilly has of course denied any wrongdoing, the allegations are consistent with a broader culture of misogyny that was revealed after numerous Fox contributors accused former CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment last summer. Fox settled the lawsuits and ousted Ailes, but female employees at the company have been “growing increasingly frustrated” by leadership’s inability to improve the culture or morale, according to New York. O’Reilly also reportedly played a factor in former anchor Megyn Kelly’s decision to jump to NBC. O’Reilly mocked Kelly twice on air after she detailed sexual harassment by Ailes in her new book, saying, “If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave.”
While this seems like a long time coming for a man who allegedly choked his wife and routinely screams at the TV as if he’s an exorcist and we are the Devil, 65 percent of his viewers still like him. Remember, too, that half of his viewers helped put a guy who brags about grabbing women by the pussy into the White House.