Former ‘Fox & Friends’ co-host Gretchen Carlson courageously charged her ex-boss, Roger Ailes, with sexual harassment and won a $20 million settlement. Now, she tells you how to fight back if you ever find yourself in the same situation. Here is our EXCLUSIVE interview with her!
If you’ve ever been sexually harassed by a boss or co-worker, you may have felt humiliated, embarrassed, angry, and also at a loss for what to do. That’s why it’s so important that there are now brave female role models like former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, 50, who have fought back and won both emotional and financial rewards. Carlson lost her job, but she refused to lose her dignity and allow the man who she alleged who sexually harassed her repeat his behavior with other women. Now, she gives you advice on what to do if you have been the victim of harassment.
“I can’t talk specifically about my former employer, but what I can say is I’ve been gratified to see so many women across the country stand up and speak up,” Gretchen told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY at the Variety Power of Women event on April 21. “For quite awhile, I was the voice for the voiceless, and now we’re hearing from all of them. If it just improves for one woman in the workplace, then we’ve done some good work, but I plan to improve it for thousands more.
“In a nutshell, right now I would tell them that they need to tell somebody [about the sexual harassment], a friend or a confidante,” Gretchen said. “They need to gather evidence, because unfortunately we still live in a ‘he said, she said’ society, and that pains me to say that. They need to be proactive in the sense of getting legal help. They need a plan. A lot of women take it, and take it, and take it, and then one day they decide to do something about it.”
Listen to her, readers! Gretchen’s inspiring words come a couple days after her former Fox News colleague, Bill O’Reilly, 67, was dumped by the network for over a decade of alleged sexual harassment of female employees. O’Reilly’s sordid history at the network included allegedly calling a Black employee “hot chocolate”, and calling one woman to tell her his sexual fantasies about her.
A bombshell exposé by The New York Times found that O’Reilly and Fox News allegedly settled in the millions with five women in exchange for their silence about the workplace harassment. It’s gross, it’s disturbing, but not exactly shocking. Sexual harassment is a foul problem in the business world, and it affects more people than many would believe. The same toxic culture that allows powerful men to think they can do what they want and brush it under the rug makes women more fearful of speaking up.
Gretchen famously filed a lawsuit against Fox News’ then-CEO Roger Ailes for decades of alleged sexual harassment. The former host of Fox and Friends and The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, who left the network in June 2016, claimed that she was wrongfully terminated because she refused to have a sexual relationship with the network head.
It was a horrific story that sparked a movement in Fox News and inspired many women to speak out about their own sexual harassment experiences. Gretchen’s courage eventually resulted in Roger Ailes being booted from Fox News, and after a long and public battle, a $20 million settlement.
“I think that workplaces are going to be paying very close attention to the voices of women, and my hope is that not only do we have a safe environment from sexual harassment, but equal treatment in the boardroom,” Gretchen told us. “We need to stand together. We’re not going to make a difference if it’s just one of us. We need to stand up and say ‘we got this’. And right now, we’re in an environment for us to do that.”
HollywoodLifers, what are your thoughts on Gretchen’s advice? Let us know!