Sexual Assault Allegatoins on Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly is a household name with a classic career ending scandal. Among the American population, O’Reilly became a familiar face by becoming leading news anchor on Fox News and creating his own television show, “The O’Reilly Factor”. When under such an intense spotlight, there is a slim to no chance that information regarding your personal life will remain in secret no matter how much you pay. O’Reilly found this to be true in April of 2017, when multiple women came forward to claim sexual harassment charges against him. Because of these charges, and intense pressure on Fox News, O’Reilly is no longer a face of the show. Ratings may drop, and viewers may prove to be disloyal, but no amount of money is worth the objectification of these various women.

Even with the amount of evidence present, there is still a defense for O’Reilly out there. Because none of these women claimed that they had been physically assaulted; the case was easier to plea. Some believe that O’Reilly simply messed up and can be compared to names like Martha Stewart and Fareed Zakaria. Both of these public figures made possible career ending mistakes, yet none involved a sexual harassment charge. This is the piece which affects the entire scheme of the crime.

Thirteen million dollars in settlements is a gargantuan amount of money, and cannot be attributed to a slight mistake. Our society tends to take sexual harassment as a joke, a punchline, and a non serious claim. This lack of care is one of the main reasons why it is important and fair that O’Reilly did not continue on Fox News. This case needs to stand as an example for men in the future who believe that objectifying, along with making lewd comments and gestures is appropriate workplace behavior. Bill O’Reilly got away with sexual harassment for at least twenty years; Mrs. Cerundolo believes it was because he is a “…household name, and does his job well. FOX would have trouble finding an adequate replacement. They are more interested with the success of the channel than the safety and comfort of women and others.”

Although this is just one particular case, it shines a light on all other sexual harassment victims in the workplace. Statistics show that 54% of women have received some form of sexual harassment. When asking an anonymous woman if they have witnessed sexual assault in the workplace, they said “Yes. Ever since I started working I have witnessed men say inappropriate remarks towards women. Although, some workplaces are worse than others. I think it is a problem almost every woman deals with”.

Although many believe that Bill O’Reilly is guilty, there are many that believe it is a hoax and a fabricated story. Bill O’Reilly finally opened up about the allegations, and said he was “target number one” from “the organized left-wing cabal” charged with “destroying voices it does not like”. He also called the media “vicious and evil” and explained that “In American journalism right now, very few are seeking the truth… They do not seek facts that back up what happened”. Bill O’Reilly is confident that the truth will come out eventually, and he pleas to be completely innocent. This transitions us into another very important piece, which is wrongfully accusing those of sexual harassment. This is a serious issue and has happened on multiple occasions. These types of accusations can ruin one person’s life and they can even be sent to jail.

It is very important that we cover both sides of the story because it would be doing an injustice to O’Reilly who has not been proven guilty of sexual harassment yet. We also have to note that sexual harassment in the workplace is a reality that women face, and we have to talk about this although it may be awkward.