In the ugliest Fox News feud since Megyn Kelly vs. Donald Trump, Roger Ailes has responded to Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against him, and surprise! He says he doesn’t do anything wrong. In her lawsuit, Carlson alleges that Ailes fired her after she rejected his proposal that they begin a sexual relationship, and that this dismissal came after she endured nine months of sexual harassment from him.
According to Deadline, in Ailes’ response, he claims that her lawsuit is retaliation for not renewing her contract due to low ratings for her show.
“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, FOX News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11 year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Carlson’s accusations of sexual harassment are quite serious, but so are Ailes’ counter-claims. It needs to be said that even if Carlson and Ailes had a good working relationship in some aspects, and if her ratings were indeed taking a hit, it doesn’t automatically mean her lawsuit lacks credibility. And it might go further than that, with Carlson also accusing former colleague Steve Doocy of sexist treatment. Even though 20th Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, has expressed “full confidence” in Ailes and Doocy, they have also launched an internal investigation.