11 companies have pulled ads from Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News following the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Fox News has carried the cantankerous host’s program for over 20 years, when it was first called “The O’Reilly Report,” and it has consistently been one of the network’s most highly rated programs in comparison to the rest of its primetime lineup. However, advertisers are fleeing en masse after O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit involving claims from five different women, who were eventually paid $13 million.
The New York Times reports that BMW of North America, Untuckit, Constant Contact, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals, Allstate, and Sanofi consumer healthcare have pulled commercials from “The O’Reilly Factor,” along with Mercedes-Benz, who pulled advertisements earlier this week. According to CNBC, three more companies — Mitsubishi, Hyundai, T. Rowe Price — have also just pulled their advertisements from the conservative pundit’s program.
Hyundai clarified on Tuesday that it is not currently advertising on “The O’Reilly Factor” but will remove upcoming ads because of the “recent and disturbing allegations.” Untuckit, a men’s apparel company, told its media buyers to “reallocate our ad dollars to other shows” while the situation is monitored.
The National Organization for Women is calling for O’Reilly’s removal from the show, and demands that there be an independent investigation carried by Fox News into any additional sexual harassment that’s gone on behind the scenes.
O’Reilly did not formally address the allegations brought against him on his show Monday night, but in a statement over the weekend, Fox News’ parent company 21st Century Fox said it “takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously”, but stood by its primetime commentator. Fox went on to say no claims of improper behavior were reported on the company hotline, suggesting they had no prior knowledge of the ongoing harassment.