- NBC host Megyn Kelly spoke out against sexual harassment in the workplace by sharing anecdotes about her former employer, Fox News.
- Kelly discussed an email that she sent to Fox News executives complaining about O’Reilly’s comments on CBS News last year.
- Kelly’s show has struggled since its premiere last month.
NBC News host Megyn Kelly spoke out against her former colleague Bill O’Reilly and her former employer Fox News during an emotional monologue on Monday.
In a five-minute segment, Kelly said that during her time at the network, it “was not exactly a friendly environment for harassment victims who wanted to report in my experience.” (Though she noted that the network had made significant recent improvements).
She said she spent all weekend on the phone with women who used to work at Fox News. Those conversations were prompted by a New York Times story that detailed O’Reilly’s massive sexual harassment payouts. Kelly then used her monologue on her Monday morning show to push back against his claims that no one ever complained about his behaviour.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behaviour was false. I know because I complained,” Kelly said.
The NBC host noted that last year, she complained to Fox News executives in an email after O’Reilly snapped during an interview on “CBS This Morning” when asked about Kelly’s allegations that she was sexually harassed by ousted CEO Roger Ailes.
“Perhaps he didn’t realise the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across this country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment,” she said in the email.
The email continued:
“Perhaps he didn’t realise that 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 Ailes mess to begin with. 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.'”
Kelly said that her complaints went unheeded, as evidenced by O’Reilly’s defiant statement later that night about what harassment victims should do.
A number of media observers also noted that Kelly singled out Fox News’ media relations head Irena Briganti, whose aggressive reputation among media reporters is well documented, claiming that she planted negative stories in tabloids about former network stars, including Kelly herself.
“She’s known for her vindictiveness,” Kelly said.
The monologue preceded an interview with Juliet Huddy, who spoke out publicly for the first time since news broke earlier this year that she settled with Fox News after accusing O’Reilly of sexual harassment.
Kelly’s new shift away from politics on daytime TV has not faced the warmest reception.
Television critics panned the first several weeks of her show, awkward clips of her segments have gone viral repeatedly, and her ratings have dropped significantly since the premiere.
Watch the clip below via NBC:
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behaviour is false. I know because I complained.” @megynkelly on Bill O’Reilly pic.twitter.com/BO8ifQcJbu
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 23, 2017
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