Advertisers withdrew their ads from political commentator Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News The O’Reilly Factor that brings the channel over 100 million dollars in ad revenue following a series of sexual harassment claims against the star anchor.
22 companies including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and GlaxoSmithKline pulled out their advertisements following the allegations.
In an official statement, Allstate, an insurance company which also withdrew its advertisements, said:
Inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values. We are concerned about the issues surrounding the program and we have suspended our advertising.
New York Times reported that Fox News paid $13 million to five women in exchange for them to drop their litigations to retain Reilly's No 1 program.
In an official statement, O’Reilly said:
Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline. But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children, and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.
(With inputs from NBC News)