Culture

Andrea Tantaros Claims She Reported Roger Ailes For Harassment And Was Taken Off The Air

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Though Fox News executives have maintained that they were unaware of any sexual harassment claims against Ailes before Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him in July, one former Fox News host isn’t having it. Andrea Tantaros, who was a co-host of The Five from 2010 to 2014, when she moved to co-host Outnumbered, claims that she complained “multiple times” to senior Fox News executives about Ailes’ inapropriate behavior. In response to her reports, Tantaros says she was pulled off air and suspended from the network. (Tantaros is still on Fox News’ payroll.)

According to her laywer, Judd Burstein, both Tantaros and her agent reported Roger Ailes’ alleged harassment to executive vice-president Bill Shine, senior vice-president Suzanne Scott, and general counsel Dianne Brandi. Burstein says that as far as Tantaros is aware, her claims were never investigated, and she was removed from Outnumbered shortly thereafter. “I believe it’s retaliatory,” Burstein says.

Through an spokesperson, Fox News Senior EVP of Programming Bill Shine denied the allegation, saying, “Andrea never made any complaints to me about Roger Ailes sexually harassing her.”

Fox News claims that the reason Tantaros was removed from the air was because she refused to let Fox vet her book, Tied Up In Knots: How Getting What They Want Has Made Women Miserable. (Yes, really.) According to counsel for Fox, the company objected to the cover of the book, which is a picture of Tantaros with her arms bound above her head.

According to Tantaros, Ailes’ harassment began two years ago, in August 2014. While they were meeting in Ailes’ office, the former Fox chairman and CEO asked Tantaros to “do the twirl” so he could look at her figure. She refused. Later that year, Ailes “asked her to turn around, and then he said, ‘Come over here so I can give you a hug.'” Tantaros again refused. In February 2015, Ailes inquired about Tantaros’ workout routine, remarking that she must “look really look good in a bikini.” That same month, Tantaros was demoted from The Five to Outnumbered.

In April 2015, Tantaros filed a formal workplace harassment complaint with Bill Shine, whom she claims told her that “Roger is a very powerful man,” and advised her not to fight against him. Though Tantaros and her agent continued filing complaints, no one ever followed up. In April 2016, she was suspended from the network, purportedly over her book cover.

Ailes resigned from Fox News in July after the company conducted an internal investigation into Ailes’ behavior, including claims that he harassed network rising star Megyn Kelly. Later that month, former Fox employee Laurie Luhn came forward with detailed allegations of over two decades of sexual abuse and harassment at the hands of Ailes.

(Via Daily Intelligencer)

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