'It was pervasive': CNN anchor discusses personal experience of harassment at Fox News

Alisyn CamerotaCNNAlisyn Camerota on ‘New Day.’

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota opened up on Thursday about her personal experience with sexual harassment at Fox News in the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s departure from the network.

The “New Day” host said on her show that “there is a feeling that there’s more to come,” pointing to a Department of Justice investigation into whether Fox News misled shareholders about the extent of sexual harassment cases at the network. 

But Camerota, a 16-year Fox News veteran, also acknowledged that experienced “more than one” instance of harassment by former CEO Roger Ailes. She also discussed frustration with the feeling that no one could stop his behaviour.

“It was pervasive,” she said. “There was a feeling, when I was there, that Roger was the boss. It was Roger Ailes’ fiefdom, he was the king.”

She added: “I went to my superiors to talk to them about it and there was a certainly a feeling like, ‘This is Roger. What are you going to do? Who are you going to go to?'”

Camerota said Ailes intimidated employees to the point that they could not speak out about abuse in the workplace.

“The real harassment was emotional harassment,” Camerota said. “Roger could be a bully. He’d call people names. And it was that feeling of never wanting to run afoul of him. That was really the chilling effect.”

On Wednesday’s program, former Fox commentator Margaret Hoover said she was never harassed by Ailes or O’Reilly, but said she “had to navigate a minefield” to avoid it from O’Reilly and often felt like “blonde backdrop for O’Reilly’s opinions.”

“He would critique everything about our appearances from when we got on set from the length of my eyelashes to the colour of my lip gloss,” Hoover said. 

Camerota’s comments weren’t the first time she has discussed the difficulty she found working with Ailes.

In an interview in January, Camerota described the former CEO as “a scary person to work for.”

“It was very hard to work for Roger Ailes,” she told SiriusXM. “I had a hard time working for Roger Ailes on a bunch of different levels.”

O’Reilly was ousted from the network on Wednesday in the wake of the New York Times report that revealed five former coworkers separately alleged repeated instances of verbal abuse, lewd comments, and unwanted advances that resulted in settlements paid by O’Reilly and Fox News.

The reports resulted in a massive advertiser boycott of The O’Reilly Factor, the longtime highest-rated show in cable news.

Watch the clip, via CNN:


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