Donald Trump loves Fox News, and the feeling is mutual. He often parrots their stories (true or not) on Twitter, and the cable news network stands little chance of ever receiving the “fake news” insult from the president or being blocked from briefings. Trump’s loyalty even extends to his strenuous defense of Bill O’Reilly following the report that both O’Reilly and Fox News have paid out a cumulative $13 million to settle sexual harassment claims from five women. Now, Hollywood Reporter has published an unexpected update to the saga, which is that 21th Century Fox is apparently using Trump’s hot-mic tape in seminars that are geared towards preventing sexual harassment.
No one could ever forget Trump’s words on the infamous Access Hollywood audio, which featured the real estate mogul uttering phrases like “I moved on her like a b*tch,” “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” “big phony tits,” and “grab them by the p*ssy” while Billy Bush laughed appreciatively. Is Fox really Trump’s tape as an example of bad behavior? It sure sounds like it:
The seminars — a series of routine workshops at multiple divisions at Fox, the most recent one taking place Tuesday on the studio lot in Los Angeles — are led by a human resources executive with a focus on preventing harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. One attendee, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells The Hollywood Reporter that toward the end of the 1-hour seminar Tuesday, a photo appeared on the big-screen featuring Trump, Billy Bush and actress Arianne Zucker from the 2005 Access Hollywood tape.
During a five-minute portion of the Fox presentation, “They went through the scenario of the tape, why it was harassment and why it’s something you should report,” says the employee. “There was an audible gasp in the room, like, “Can you believe this is happening?”
Well, this sounds perfectly awkward and also arrives with a human resources executive telling an alleged “joke” that went over poorly. The remark in question was that human resources department was in charge of all of Fox except for Fox News, which is why the seminar “could not include any information about Ailes or O’Reilly.” Oh boy.
Lest anyone think this story is fake news, Talking Points Memo has received confirmation from Fox that Trump’s Access Hollywood tape is indeed used within their workplace harassment presentations. Has, uh, Trump heard about this yet? He’s preoccupied with missiles lately, but nonetheless, he may not be thrilled.