Former Fox host Andrea Tantaros discussed the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News and why she turned down a seven-figure settlement offer yesterday when she appeared on Good Morning America.
Tantaros told host Amy Robach that she had complained about sexual harassment a year before Gretchen Carlson filed her lawsuit.
TANTAROS: My complaints crescendoed about harassment and retaliation. And when they got to a fever pitch, that’s the point where all of a sudden [Fox News] made up this pretext that I had violated a book contract. And Fox had approved my book. I had not violated any of the contractual guidelines. So it’s just made up to basically act as a smokescreen for their behavior.
[…] Ailes sexually harassed me numerous times. I’ll give you an example. I was walking to a taping once and just said simply hello to him. And he looked at me and he said, “We need to get you a tighter dress.” And I responded, I think pretty forcefully. But this was, Amy, after numerous times of him insulting me, making degrading comments about personal relationships, about my figure. That’s what he did and then the retaliation was even worse.
Tantaros called the “culture of sexism” at Fox “pervasive.”
TANTAROS: I mean comments here and there that were made that you were expected to just ignore. And if you complained, you were punished for them. …You would get your airtime taken away from you. I mean, I haven’t even been allowed to participate in the election coverage as a political analyst. I was demoted from a show that I launched, The Five, after I rebuffed Roger Ailes. And then I had my book destroyed 12 hours before the launch. I mean, they could have come to me and said, “We have objections with your book.” My lawyer was in contact with them for weeks and they didn’t do that. It was deliberately designed to hurt me and cause pain and that’s what they did there.
Tantaros also said she turned down a seven-figure settlement.
TANTAROS: Well, first of all, the seven-figure lawsuit would have had me renouncing my sexual harassment complaints, one. Two, they wanted me to publicly admit, lie basically to the public, and say that I violated my book contract, which I didn’t do. So I wasn’t going to lie. And, three, they wanted to guarantee my internal silence, which was never going to happen. What they don’t have is accountability. And that’s why I’m speaking out.
ROBACH: So what is accountability to you?
TANTAROS: Well, I think a culture change at Fox News is in order. It’s a culture of misogyny and sexism. And if you get vocal about it, if you get loud, they will act punitively.
(Transcript excerpts via Media Matters)
Andrea Tantaros is not a sympathetic figure. She’s a vicious, hateful person who has deliberately tried to incite violence against people she disagrees with politically. But her story has the ring of truth, especially since it meshes with what others have said.
Nobody deserves sexual harassment. Not even her.
Crossposted at Newshounds.us