Statement on Bill O’Reilly’s return to Fox News

Media Matters President Angelo Carusone released the following statement after Bill O’Reilly appeared on Fox News’ Hannity for an in-studio triple segment:

It is Fox News’ de facto policy to facilitate the sexual harassment of its employees. The network long enabled serial sexual predator Bill O’Reilly -- and had no intention of stopping the predatory culture in its workplace. Fox executives actually supported it! That’s why advertisers first stepped in to force Fox News’ hand by boycotting O’Reilly’s show.

The budding collaboration between Hannity and O’Reilly -- as well as Fox News’ full throated embrace of O’Reilly’s return to Fox News tonight -- confirms that advertisers are going to have to act again. If they don’t, then they are aligning their brands with and supporting sexual harassment.

Companies that removed ads from O’Reilly’s show but currently sponsor Hannity need to be the first to take action and cease sponsoring Hannity immediately. And I actually think some responsible companies will remove ads from Fox News as a whole over this.

This was the third interaction between Hannity and O’Reilly in less than a week. Based on the substance of the interviews, it is clear that this is not the end, but rather the beginning of a deeper collaboration between the Fox News host and the former Fox News host.  

By allowing this to continue, Fox News is using Hannity as a backdoor way to bring O’Reilly back in to the Fox News fold. In fact, Fox News widely promoted host Hannity’s interview with O’Reilly by airing either a promotional graphic or commercial for the O’Reilly interview on Hannity all day, every hour from 6am to 6pm.

Here is a list of advertisers who dropped from Bill O’Reilly’s show in April who are currently sponsoring Hannity’s program.

In April, Fox fired O’Reilly after multiple women reported him for sexual harassment and progressive organizations, including Media Matters and Color of Change, put intense pressure on the network. In August, Media Matters launched a Stop Hannity advertiser education effort. Hannity isn’t just a partisan talking head with a television show; he conspires with the Trump administration to spread fabricated stories, smear detractors, and undercut the rule of law.  Since launching the “Stop Hannity” effort, more than a dozen advertisers have abandoned his show.