Lawyer In Fox Harassment Cases: Trump Is Empowering Harassers
Nancy Erika Smith: “How Dare He Call These Victims Of Sexual Harassment Liars? That Empowers Every Harasser Out There”
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the April 6 edition of MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle:
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KATE SNOW (HOST): Nancy is president and founder of the law firm Smith Mullen. She also represents former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson who we just saw and Julie Roginsky who has a pending lawsuit against Fox News and Roger Ailes. Also with us, Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. I love that we have three really powerful women to talk to. Nancy, let me start with you. You had very strong words today for the president of the United States. Why are you so angry?
NANCY ERIKA SMITH: Because he wasn't in the room when it happened. And how dare he call these victims of sexual harassment liars? That empowers every harasser out there. It empowers every troll out there. Women are tired of being silenced. It is another way to silence us when we're abused. Call us liars, call us sluts, call us nuts, call us money grubbers, gold diggers. This is all a way that they shut us up when they do the wrong thing.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: In workplace harassment, there are so many situations women don't come forward because they feel like, it is not big enough. They're not going to believe me. What if I lose my job? And by the president, the leader of the free world yesterday standing up and without knowing the facts, siding with Bill O'Reilly, that says to so many of those women, you know what? Maybe I don't have a voice. You know, it is something would you see in one of those workplace harassment videos. Here's what not to do.
TERRY O'NEILL: It is not just women. Every time you hear about sexual harassment in an organization, you're very often also going to find racial harassment if you scratch the surface. And guess what? That's exactly what's going on at Fox News. They now have three women African-American women suing the organization for, if you look at their allegations, it is racial harassment along the same lines as the sexual harassment that Bill O'Reilly is alleged to have done. So they go hand in hand. And we need to, we really need to look at the culture at Fox News and other organizations where powerful men and powerful women see no consequences for their bad actions. And that's what creates a culture of harassment that we really need to eliminate.
RUHLE: You know, President Trump standing up and thinking, I'm going to speak up for my friend could actually hurt Bill O'Reilly more. For the advertisers. For 40 advertisers to say, hold on a second, corporate culture is so important. The advertising industry traditionally are the ones who get blamed for the objectification of women based on the images they show, and they've done so much research on it. You now see them making choices about the roles women play in ads, the images they use to stand up and say, I get it, your viewership is huge but our ad dollars matter most.