Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said Thursday that Fox News’ corporate culture “has to change” in light of multiple sexual harassment scandals and said women should “feel empowered” to report harassment rather than “stick around for a paycheck.”
Palin was a paid Fox News contributor from 2010 to 2015.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was ousted from the network this week amid allegations that he sexually harassed several women over the course of his career. Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes left the network last year amid a similar scandal.
“Corporate culture there obviously has to change,” Palin told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Women don’t deserve, they should not ever have to put up with any kind of intimidating workplace.”
Palin continued: “At the same time, if a woman believes that she is being intimidating and harassed, she needs to stand up and do something about it, not stick around for a paycheck for years and years and years and then after the fact complain about what she went through.”
It was unclear to whom Palin was referring. But former Fox host Megyn Kelly detailed what she described as ongoing harassment from Ailes in her book, “Settle for More,” and former longtime Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes around the time she left the network. Some of O’Reilly’s accusers had also reportedly endured harassment for extended periods of time before filing lawsuits.
“As a strong woman, I say we should feel more empowered than that and we should, you know, take a stand and get out of the place or blow the whistle on whoever is the perpetrator doing the bad stuff so that the culture will change,” Palin said.
In a statement Wednesday, O’Reilly said it was “tremendously disheartening” that he had to leave Fox “due to completely unfounded claims.”
Earlier this month, The New York Times published an investigation that found that O’Reilly and Fox News had paid out $US13 million to five women to settle sexual harassment claims they had brought against him.
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