In her first public interview since filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson said that she filed the suit because she “finally felt it was time” to speak up. “I just wanted to stand up for myself, first and foremost,” said Carlson. “And I wanted to stand up for other women who maybe faced similar circumstances.”
Carlson alleges that Ailes made sexual advances towards her and then fired her because she complained about sexual harassment at the network — charges that Ailes has categorically denied. In the interview, Carlson said she had complained about harassment as early as 2009 — when her Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy “quieted” her on air by pulling on her arm. She said her meetings with Ailes, in which she complained of harassment, changed nothing, and that furthermore he demeaned her and made advances on her himself. According to the lawsuit, Carlson claims that Ailes called her a “man hater” who needed to “learn to ‘get along with the boys.'” The worst of it, Carlson said, was when he allegedly told her, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
More than a dozen prominent Fox News personalities have spoken up in defense of Ailes, who maintains that the decision not to renew her contract was due only to poor ratings. Several women have also spoken up against Ailes, claiming that he offered them jobs in exchange for sexual favors. Carlson had regularly dominated ratings in her afternoon time slot, but Fox News said Tuesday that ratings for her old time slot had risen since her last day in June. In the interview, Carlson said she was not told about any ratings weakness when she was let go. “It was cold and calculating,” she said of the meeting in which she was told her contract would not be renewed. “It took 30 seconds, there was no, ‘Thank you for your service of 11 years,’ and there was absolutely no discussion of ratings.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.