Sarah Palin said "the culture had to change" at Fox News — following Wednesday's ouster of Bill O'Reilly over sexual harassment allegations — and called on women to "stand up and do something about it" when they face similar situations in the workplace.
"I used to be with Fox," Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, told Jake Tapper on CNN. "The corporate culture there obviously had to change.
"Women should not ever have to put up with any kind of intimidating workspace," she said.
Palin was a Fox News commentator from 2008 to 2015. She told Tapper her contract was not renewed, though she declined to discuss the circumstances.
"At the same time, if a woman believes that she is being intimidated and harassed, she needs to stand up and do something about it, not stick around for a paycheck for years and years and years — and then, after the fact, complain about what she went through.
"As a strong woman, I say we should feel more empowered than that," Palin said.
O'Reilly, 67, was forced out Wednesday after The New York Times reported earlier this month five women had received $13 million in payouts in exchange for not pursuing litigation or discussing any allegations regarding sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.
He denied the allegations — saying he settled the cases to spare his family — and his attorney, Marc Kasowitz, said Tuesday that O'Reilly was the target of a "smear campaign" financed by left-wing advocacy groups.
O'Reilly's departure followed last year's resignation of Roger Ailes, the CEO who founded Fox News Channel in 1996.
Ailes left in July 2016 in the wake of an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.
He remains a Fox consultant through 2018.
Tapper asked Palin whether she had experienced any such behavior while at Fox — and she responded: "I wouldn't put up with anything that would be perceived as intimidating or harassing."
The former governor added women in such situations should "take a stand and get out of the place — or blow the whistle on whoever is the perpetrator doing the bad stuff so that the culture will change.
"But, obviously, things are changing quickly at Fox."
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