Conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly has officially been pushed out of Fox News Network after sexual harassment allegations against him just became too hefty for the network to continue justifying. However, it appears that O’Reilly will receive a golden parachute in the firing, as a report states that O’Reilly will be awarded more than $10 million as compensation for the exit.
21st Century Fox and O’Reilly’s representatives have yet to respond to those reports, but it makes financial sense, as O’Reilly had just signed a $25 million per year contract before this wave of allegations came in. He earned that huge contract thanks to being Fox News’ biggest driver of ratings, which resulted in record profits for the company. The contract was expected to keep O’Reilly on hand until after the 2020 presidential election. That being said, his compensation did not approach the package former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes received upon his exit. Ailes was compensated with $40 million, essentially the full remainder of his contract, after being forced out due to similar sexual harassment claims.
O’Reilly’s stock plummeted rapidly after an April 1 story published in The New York Times detailed five different women’s settlements with O’Reilly in the past over sexual misconduct. One of the victims, an African American woman, claims that O’Reilly addressed her as “hot chocolate” and made sexual advances on her. This led to many advertisers boycotting “The O’Reilly Factor”, which caused Fox News to take the situation seriously and eventually reach the conclusion of letting him go following an independent investigation. O’Reilly released a statement following the announcement of his exit saying, “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unforunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.” According to Fox News, Tucker Carlson will take over O’Reilly’s time slot for the time being.