Bill O’Reilly officially got the Fox News boot in the butt today, which launched a grand old party for those who hoped the network would take a bold stand against sexual harassment. Of course, stories about O’Reilly’s alleged behavior — involving unwanted advances, loofah-talk, and “hot chocolate” — ran rampant for years. What began the host’s undoing was a report about how he and Fox paid a $13 million cumulative total to five accusers.
On Fox News tonight, O’Reilly’s old show had already stripped his identity to label the program as The Factor, and Tucker Carlson will soon assume the 8pm EST time slot beginning on Monday. On a plane en route from Italy (where he was on vacation) back to the U.S., O’Reilly issued a statement about his dismissal. Naturally, he expresses no anger toward Fox and doesn’t harbor any remorse. In fact, O’Reilly characterizes the allegations against him as “unfounded claims,” and he acts like accusations like these are simply a “reality” that famous people must endure:
“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.”