Good Morning America Highlights Roger Ailes' History Of Sexism

From the July 7 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:

Video file

RYAN SMITH: For 11 years, Gretchen Carlson was a stalwart at Fox News, known for speaking her mind. Now she's speaking out against her former boss claiming he subjected her to severe and pervasive sexual harassment and sabotaged her career. This morning, award winning journalist Gretchen Carlson taking on Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes filing a sexual harassment lawsuit claiming her refusal of his unwanted sexual advances cost her her job. In the suit, Carlson claims the media mogul subjected her to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” at Fox News, alleging Ailes “injected sexual and/or sexist comments” into their conversations. Even “asking her to turn around so he could view her posterior.” Carlson alleges when she met with Ailes to discuss how she was being treated, Ailes told her, “you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be and better and I'd be good and better.” Carlson only naming Ailes as a defendant but in her complaint the married mother of two also claiming her former Fox & Friends co-anchor Steve Doocy treated her in a “sexist and condescending manner.” She alleges that when Ailes learned of her complaints about Doocy's behavior, Ailes responded by calling Carlson a “man hater.” Carlson was taken off the popular morning show in 2013 and given her own afternoon show.


Now Carlson claims that move, along with a salary cut and Ailes' refusal to renew her contract last month, were all “in retaliation for her complaints of harassment and discrimination and because she rejected his sexual advances.” The 76-year-old Ailes, one of the most powerful men in cable news, tells ABC News “Carlson's allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup.” Ailes has faced allegations of sexism in the past. This 2014 unauthorized biography claims the CEO wanted his female anchors to show off their legs. Fox News fought back at the author, saying he was never given direct access to Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with them. On Wednesday the former Miss America tweeting out this blog she wrote last year recounting her experience with sexual harassment as a young reporter, something she's addressed on-air. Carlson telling ABC News the lawsuit was a “difficult step to take but adding, adding ”I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women." Carlson is seeking unspecified damages. Ailes and Fox News claiming that the lawsuit is defamatory and offensive and promising to defend it vigorously. And the network's parent company Twentieth Century Fox saying that while they have full confidence in Ailes and Doocy, they take these allegations seriously and are conducting an internal review of the matter.


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