Former Fox News Host Sues CEO for Sexual Harassment

Gretchen Carlson, a former host of Fox News favorites including “Fox & Friends” and “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson”, is filing a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group. Prior to joining the Fox team in 2005, Gretchen Carlson was Miss America, a Stanford graduate, and a correspondent for CBS News.

During her time of employment, Carlson alleges she received perpetual harassment from her male cohorts. One of her co-hosts, Doocy, allegedly treated Carlson in a sexist and condescending way including physically pushing her arm down in an attempt to “shush” Carlson during live TV. When she complained of the harassment to Ailes, Carlson claims that her salary was reduced and her on-air appearances were curtailed.

Despite the fact that her program, “The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson” had an average of 1.1million viewers, Carlon’s contact was not renewed, an action that Carlson believes was punishment for refusing Ailes’ sexual advances.

Here are some example of the inappropriate behavior Carlson claims Ailes displayed during the time of her employment:

  1. Carlson claims Ailes ogled her in the office and asked her to turn around so he could see her backside.
  2. Ailes called Carlson “sexy”.
  3. After Carlson complained about the discriminatory treatment she was experiencing, Ailes responded with “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve that way.”
  4. Ailes allegedly called Carlson a “man hater” and “killer.”
  5. Ailes allegedly said that Carlson needed to learn how to get along with the boys. 
  6. Ailes commented on Carlson’s outfits, legs, and figure. 
  7. Ailes told Carlson that he thought marriage was boring, hard, and not much fun. 

Since Carlson has come forward, six other women ranging from 30-50 years old have accused Ailes of displaying similar ‘boys club” behavior throughout the years. Carlson’s attorneys have even started referring to Ailes as the “Bill Cosby of Media” because of his tendency to ask women for sexual favors in exchange for job opportunities. In the 1980s, Ailes was accused of offering Randi Harrison, a TV producer, $100 more per week if she agreed to have sex with Ailes whenever he wanted. 

Carlson is currently seeking compensatory, mental anguish, and punitive damages in addition to attorneys’ fees. 

What do you think of Ms. Carlson’s allegations?

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