Three women formerly employed at Fox News issued a scathing condemnation of opinion host Sean Hannity for “all but begging his network to rehire an accused sexual predator” in pushing for disgraced ex-colleague Bill O’Reilly’s return.
On Wednesday, former reporter Diana Falzone posted a statement on Twitter also signed by former “Outnumbered” co-host Julie Roginsky and former “Fox and Friends” co-host and “The Real Story” host Gretchen Carlson.
“It is ironic that a man accused of sexual harassment over the course of many years by many different women is being courted to return to Fox News by its most prominent on-air personality, while his many victims and other survivors of sexual harassment at that same network continue to be bound by onerous confidentiality provisions that prevent them from disclosing what those harassers said or did to them,” the statement read.
O’Reilly, once a top-rated cable news host with a self-titled opinion show, was ousted in 2017 following allegations of sexual harassment. His firing brought his career to a crashing halt less than a year after late CEO Roger Ailes resigned amid a scandal over harassment allegations aimed at him.
Carlson famously took on Ailes in a multi-million dollar lawsuit that blew the lid off an alleged culture of sexual misconduct at the network. Roginsky also sued Ailes, claiming he denied her a co-hosting position on Fox News’ “The Five” after she refused to engage in a sexual relationship with him.
Falzone, who worked for Fox News online, lodged a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the network in 2017 for taking her off the air after she wrote an op-ed discussing her battle with endometriosis. Falzone re-entered the spotlight earlier this year following a bombshell New Yorker report revealing the network killed her story on President Donald Trump’s relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels. Ken LaCorte, a former Fox News executive, later said the story wasn’t up to editorial standards, so he spiked it.
In their latest statement, Falzone, Roginsky and Carlson took direct aim at a Tuesday interview in which Hannity told O’Reilly, “By the way, I keep offering you, go back on Fox.”
“Why would I want to do that?” O’Reilly shot back. “So I can have security guards go with me everywhere, like I used to?”
Hannity justified his plea with ratings, telling O’Reilly, “you take the No. 1 slot,” and that “it’s easier being No. 2.”
In rebuking Hannity, Falzone, Roginsky and Carlson called it “ironic that many women are bound by no-rehire provisions.”
“This exchange once again demonstrates how far we have yet to go in ensuring that survivors of sexual and harassment are treated with even the modicum of respect and deference that Sean Hannity has shown an alleged serial predator,” they said. “We call ― again ― for Fox News to release all women from non-disclosure agreements, so that the public can have a much clearer understanding of why Mr. Hannity’s words are so egregious in this respect.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.