- NBC host Megyn Kelly delivered a strongly worded monologue criticizing former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and top executives at Fox, her former employer. Kelly also released an email she wrote to Fox executives last year after O’Reilly argued that he wasn’t interested in discussing sexual-harassment claims that made Fox “look bad.” In her monologue and email, Kelly argued that the shaming of women who speak out about workplace abuse “must stop.”
NBC News host Megyn Kelly spoke out against her former Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly and Fox executives during a strongly worded monologue on Monday in which she denounced O’Reilly’s dismissal of sexual-harassment allegations made against him.
During the five-minute segment on her new morning show “Megyn Kelly Today,” Kelly read aloud an email that she wrote to Fox executives in November 2016, after O’Reilly snapped during an interview on “CBS This Morning” when asked about Kelly’s allegations that she was sexually harassed by the ousted Fox CEO Roger Ailes.
In her email, Kelly wrote that O’Reilly was intimidating women who are victims of workplace abuses by dismissing her charges against Ailes by saying they make the company “look bad.” She said that then-Fox News President Bill Shine assured her that he would talk to O’Reilly, but Kelly was dismayed to see the powerful host appear on his own show that night arguing that employees shouldn’t undermine their own companies by complaining about harassment.
“Perhaps he didn’t realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across this country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment,” Kelly wrote in the email. “Perhaps he didn’t realize that his exact attitude of shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment – on grounds that ‘it will disgrace the company’ is in part how Fox News got into the decades-long Ailes mess to begin with.”
Kelly released the email in full on Monday, saying that her experience at Fox “speaks volumes about powerful men and the roadblocks one can face in taking them on.”
The monologue and email release were prompted by new reporting in The New York Times detailing a $32 million payout O’Reilly made in January to a female Fox colleague who accused him of sexual harassment. During an interview with The Times, O’Reilly denied all of the allegations, calling them “politically and financially motivated … bulls—.”
Kelly pushed back on this, telling viewers that O’Reilly’s claim that no colleague of his had complained about his behavior at 12 different companies over 43 years was untrue.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior was false,” Kelly said. “I know because I complained.”
Kelly added that current Fox executives, including corporate communications chief Irena Briganti, continue to attack women who attempt to speak out about harassment and abuse.
“This must stop,” Kelly said on Monday. “The abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening, the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact – it has to stop.”
21st Century Fox released a statement responding to Kelly’s comments about Briganti.
“Irena is a valued colleague and she has our full support,” the statement said.
Read the full email below:
- The Today Show
Watch the clip below:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 23, 2017
Max Tani contributed reporting.