Fox News star Bill O'Reilly is on a previously-scheduled two week vacation and won't be around to see the Manhattan flyover by women's rights group UltraViolet on Tuesday. The group will lead a protest with women survivors of sexual assault outside Fox headquarters on Tuesday, April 18th, preparing to deliver a petition signed by more than 140,000 people calling for O'Reilly's resignation. In addition, the group has commissioned a plane to fly around Manhattan with a banner reading “FOX: #DROPOREILLY, THE SEXUAL PREDATOR.”
O’Reilly, who is scheduled to be on air again on April 24, has been under siege since a New York Times report surfaced stating that five women had received payments coming to about $13 million. In exchange for the settlements, the women and their lawyers agreed not to pursue litigation or speak about accusations related to sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by O’Reilly. In a statement the star, host who just renewed his contract with Fox, said his fame had made him a target, but that no complaint about him had ever been made through Fox’s human-resources hotline.
LA radio personality and author Wendy Walsh is at the center of the latest Fox News scandal, charging that O'Reilly propositioned her in a LA hotel in 2013 and then retaliated against her when she rebuffed him. Part of the New York Times interview, Walsh has no signed documents with Fox and is seeking no compensation or even a lawsuit.
The Washington Post writes that the Walsh allegation is potentially the most explosive of all, catching Fox News in a total surprise. Responding to O'Reilly claims that no one has ever called the recently-installed Fox News hotline to complain about him -- an action that would force an investigation -- the Walsh team went into action.
In 2016, Fox News severed ties with Roger Ailes, who built the cable news channel to new heights of viewership and profitability, over the issue of sexual harassment. Now mounting pressures demand that O'Reilly leave the Fox boys club over his own soiled reputation.
In an open letter to Fox News CEO James Murdoch, Ultraviolet warned that his network was cementing itself "as a company where rape culture not only thrives but is promoted to viewers."
The letter also states: "The lurid details of Mr. O'Reilly's crimes, and Fox News' role in protecting him while systematically destroying the women he has victimized, are disturbing yet completely unsurprising, We know firsthand that survivors of sexual crimes are silenced, shamed, and vilified by perpetrators and onlookers, and 21st Century Fox has gone as far as to protect O'Reilly from his accusers with monetary payouts."