FOX News host and anchor Gretchen Carlson has sued chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.
In her lawsuit, Carlson said her career was affected as a result of refusing Ailes’ sexual advances. She had been serving as the host of the morning show FOX & Friends and was also hosting her own afternoon show. Her contract at the network expired last month.
However, Carlson is not the only woman who says Ailes behaved inappropriately around her. As reported by CNN Money, a spokesman for the firm of Carlson’s lawyer Nancy Erika Smith said “at least 10” women approached Smith to describe their experiences regarding Ailes’ behavior around them.
One FOX News contributor, who requested not to be named, said she suffered similar behavior from Ailes. “He asked me to turn around so he can see my ass,” the contributor said.
Another network employee said Ailes told her she could only wear dresses on air. She also described how Ailes told her he recruited on camera personalities. “[Ailes] always brags to people about how he doesn’t do polling or testing when he chooses his on-air talent,” the employee said, as reported by the Huffington Post.
“He told me that if he was thinking of hiring a woman, he’d ask himself if he would fuck her, and if he would, then he’d hire her to be on-camera. He then said if it was a man he’d think about whether he could sit down for a baseball game with him and not get annoyed of him. If he could, then he’d hire him.”
The lawsuit could affect FOX News drastically. In the wake of the filing of her lawsuit, there are speculation whether other women will come forward to back Carlson’s allegations and share their experiences, too.
Ailes, who founded FOX News in 1996, said the allegations against him were false. In a statement, he said, “This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew [Carlson’s] contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit.”