NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Major advertisers have begun cancelling spots on America’s most-watched cable news show following reports of sexual harassment involving the star Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
US insurer Allstate and French pharmaceutical maker Sanofi became the latest to exit on Tuesday, following the lead of a handful of auto brands dropping ads for Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” a favorite among conservatives.
Allstate spokesman Justin Herndon 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.”
A Sanofi statement said the group had “reallocated” its ads.
“The controversy around ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ program and allegations made against Bill O’Reilly are matters that we take seriously and will continue to monitor,” Sanofi said.
The moves came after a New York Times report said the cable news giant and O’Reilly had paid five women a total of $13 million in the cases spanning 15 years, in exchange for their silence and agreement not to pursue litigation against Fox News, a favorite among conservatives.
While two of the cases were previously known, the Times said it had unearthed three more cases of harassment, two of a sexual nature and one alleging verbally abusive behavior by O’Reilly. read more