Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson spoke out about past sexual harassment prior to filing a lawsuit against Roger Ailes, and it goes back to her Miss America days. Gretchen says eradicating harassment is more than a ‘women’s issue.’
Gretchen Carlson, 50, wrote a powerful piece for The Huffington Post on June 18 called “Sexual Harassment: Not Just a Women’s Issue”. her brave essay details the history of sexual harassment and abuse she’s experienced as a professional woman, ever since being crowned Miss America in 1989. Her revealing piece comes less than a month before she revealed, on July 6, that she was suing Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, 76, for sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
Gretchen detailed in her lawsuit against her former CEO that he repeatedly made gross sexual advances and comments, including telling colleagues that he had slept with other Miss Americas, but not her. Gross. She also accused former Fox and Friends cohost Steve Doocy of using her as a “female prop.”
Her essay prior to the lawsuit revealed a heartbreaking pattern of abuse in the entertainment industry, and the trepidation she experienced trying to come forward over the nightmares she faced:
“Most professional women I know have experienced sexual harassment,” Gretchen wrote. “So have I — a few times — and I never talked about it until now. If that seems surprising, it shouldn’t be. I’ve always considered myself a strong woman, not afraid to stand up for myself, but in the face of sexual harassment I was silent. As the issue takes a prominent place in the headlines today, I sometimes feel guilty about my trepidation. Perhaps I could have moved the conversation forward if I had come forth. But when I had those experiences I was young and afraid to speak out. I had no real power, and I was worried that people would blame me or consider me a troublemaker.”
Gretchen spoke about horrible things: a job recruiter “forcing his tongue down my throat,” a cameraman talking about touching her breasts, a PR executive shoving her face “in his crotch” during a car ride home from a meeting. And now we know that she only faced more hardship during her 11 years as a top Fox News host. It’s disgusting, and Gretchen wrote her essay to help others come forward — and to tell men that they should be held accountable for their actions!
“Finally, we have to stop thinking of sexual harassment as only a women’s issue. It comes down to how we raise our children, including our sons. It’s not enough to tell our daughters to stand up for themselves. Part of putting an end to harassment involves educating boys to be completely accepting of women, both at home and at work, so that harassment becomes a relic of the past.”
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by Gretchen’s essay? Tell us in the comments!