Fox News has used huge payments to silence employees who claim they've been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace — a practice that shields the network's top brass from scrutiny, The New York Times reports.
It's one explanation for why recently-fired Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes may have been able to conduct "what appears to have been a decades-long campaign of sexual abuse and harassment of subordinates," according to James B. Stewart, the author and Pulitzer-prize winning business columnist.
Stewart says that nearly a dozen women at Fox News and Fox Business Network have reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior following the filing of a lawsuit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson which led to Mr. Ailes's resignation.
"Previous victims who filed complaints left the company, their careers in ruins, and in return for money, signed agreements that muzzled them," Stewart writes.
He quotes Jon Bauer, a professor of law at the University of Connecticut, saying the issue, which goes beyond Fox, is "employees are rewarded for shielding powerful people in the organization."
Fox News's parent company 21st Century Fox told The Times: "As we've made clear, there's absolutely no room anywhere at our company for behavior that disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment."
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