Fox News boss Roger Ailes resigns amid sexual harassment charges

Roger AilesMr Ailes has been accused of sexual assault. Image: Reuters

Roger Ailes, the long-time boss of Fox News, has resigned after a number of female employees accused him of sexual harassment.

The network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced his resignation.

The announcement does not mention the sexual harassment allegations, which have now come from multiple Fox presenters.

Executive chairman Rupert Murdoch wrote that Mr Ailes has made a “remarkable contribution” to Fox News.

“We continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect,” Fox executives Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch said in the statement. “We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company.”

Mr Ailes has run Fox News since it launched in 1996 and is credited with reshaping the American media and political landscape.

A veteran of Republican political campaigns, he turned the cable news network into a ratings leader and an influential force in the Republican Party.

“Rupert Murdoch is a conservative, but the Republican intensity, the conservative passion including the viciousness toward the Democrats that we now see against Hillary Clinton and has been going on against Obama all these years, all that is Roger Ailes,” Paul Levinson, communications professor at Fordham University, told the AP news agency.

Gretchen Carlson

Ms Carlson had her own show on the Fox News network
Image copyright GETTY IMAGES

 

Less than two weeks ago former presenter Gretchen Carlson sued Mr Ailes for sexual harassment and wrongful termination, claims he denies.

Ms Carlson, who worked for the network for 11 years, alleges that he proposed having a sexual relationship with her and he instructed her to turn around in his office so he could look at her backside.

Mr Ailes also allegedly called her a “man hater” and that she needed to “get along with the boys”.

A report in New York magazine, citing anonymous sources, said lawyers for 21st Century Fox gave Mr Ailes a deadline of 1 August to resign or face being fired.

Further allegations surfaced in US media that Mr Ailes sexually harassed another Fox News presenter, Megyn Kelly, about 10 years ago, claims he has also denied.

Source: BBC

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