In an abrupt and surprising turn of events, Bill O’Reilly—after 21 years—was fired from Fox News, as announced by the media giant’s owners, Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations,” said Fox, “the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”
However, Bill maintains his innocence, releasing the following statement Wednesday:
It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.
The terms of termination are still unclear, including details surrounding the possible millions of dollars Fox owes him under their contract.
Some contractual clauses, however, may favor Fox and protect them from paying leftover salaries to the former 9 o’clock host.
Other factors, like a “non-compete” clause, could limit Bill’s options in finding employment at an alternate network.
According to Kirsten Power, a current CNN employee once contributing for Fox, Bill’s termination “is stunning because Bill O’Reilly WAS Fox News….it was sort of unthinkable that he would ever leave there, except on his own terms.”
The King of what he dubbed “the no spin zone” was just another domino to fall after Roger Ailes, former Fox News CEO, resigned back in mid-2016 under numerous allegations of sexual abuse.
Revelations regarding Aile’s past behavior were uncovered by a New York Times investigation—the newspaper then turned its attention to Bill after initiating Ailes’ resignation.
The investigation into Bill revealed that Fox News had settled $13 million in sexual harassment/verbal abuse cases with five women.
After publishing the story, The New York Times then managed to initiate a massive advertiser boycott of Bill’s show with dozens of sponsors demanding to have their ads excluded from the popular 9 p.m. show.
Finally, after an “internal probe” by third party law firm Paul, Weiss selected by Fox News, Rupert Murdoch announced that “an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel” helped conclude O’Reilly’s resignation.
In his letter addressing the situation, Murdoch acknowledged Bill as “one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news.”
He also, however, gave an apparent vague reference to the company’s shortcomings in dealing with past assault allegations:
I understand how difficult this has been for many of you. Thank you for your hard work, patience, and for the great job you all do delivering news and opinion to millions of Americans whose trust you earn every day. I look forward to even more success in the coming years.
As for Bill’s historic 8 p.m. slot, Fox says it is replacing him with Tucker Carlson’s widely successful show. “The Five” will be moved to the 9 p.m. slot.
And as usual, social media has reacted in very polarizing ways, with some praising it:
Bill O'Reilly getting fired is a;
◽Win for #TheResistance!
◽Blow to Trump who defended him!
◽Justice served for those whom he harassed! pic.twitter.com/FhKu5EVSgj
— The Hummingbird (@Alifaith55) April 19, 2017
Sad part is, Bill O'Reilly isn't being fired because he harassed women, it's because we weren't supposed to find out about it.
— Kimberly (@Kimistryisfun_) April 19, 2017
Let's thank the women who were brave enough to come forward and getting that jerk Bill O'Reilly fired from Fox news channel
— MG ???? (@FeministRocks) April 19, 2017
It's official. Bill O'Reilly has been fired.
Activists did this. The organized pressure for companies to drop him was the direct cause.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 19, 2017
While others have some gripes:
RT brandongroeny: The same people cheering Bill O'Reilly being fired are happy to pay rapist Bill Clinton $100K for a speech. Confusing.
— 1-2-3AnyonebuttheSNP (@mandelawasndoos) April 19, 2017
Ah. FOX fired bill O'reilly what a mistake for Rupert Murdoch and his miscreant sons, your network will go down as a result
— Ronald HESS (@rontpe) April 19, 2017
Liberals are so happy Bill O'Reilly was fired. Do they realize Tucker is taking his spot and pro-Trump Eric Bolling is getting his own show?
— Makada ???????? (@_Makada_) April 19, 2017