The Fox media conglomerate is facing yet another sexual harassment scandal after its head of sport programming, Jamie Horowitz, was fired recently after several women came forward. This news comes as Fox News is still recovering from sexual harassment scandals that rocked the new network just a few months ago.
According to the LA Times, The allegations came to light as Fox was investigating a string of sexual harassment claims in its sports division. Several women were interviewed, and many pointed the finger at Horowitz for inappropriate behavior. The women were all based in Los Angeles, and have requested anonymity. However, at least one of the women is part of on-air talent for Fox News, and another is a show producer.
The exact nature of the allegations are not all known, however, one staffer described an encounter where Horowitz invited her to spend time with him to “catch up”. During this meeting, he reportedly attempted to kiss her. Many of the allegations also involve Horowitz using the lure of more work to get women into a position to make his advances.
In a statement, his attorney has suggested that the allegations are slanderous, that he is innocent of the claims against him. According to Patricia L. Glaser, her client had performed admirably at his job, and had no idea that something was wrong until the morning of his firing.
Horowitz joined Fox Sports in 2015, and immediately changed the direction of the network. He was given broad leeway to hire talent, and he brought in many personalities he thought would boost ratings. Fox Sports became known for programs with a combative style, with on-air hosts yelling at each other and their guests to get their points across. This approach has had mixed results. The ratings for some personalities, such as Skip Bayless, have cratered compared to their success with other networks, and they’ve laid off many staffers in recent months. It seems there is a move to soften the tone of their opinion shows and be more informational.
Fox News is still recovering from its own public relations nightmare relating to sexual harassment charges. Bill O’Reilly, perhaps the best-known personality on the network, was fired for allegedly offering more work to a staffer in exchange for sex. Their late chairman, Roger Ailes, was also fired for allegedly making inappropriate comments and for cultivating a culture of harassment and intimidation. All told, the company has paid out $40 million to victims in settlement claims so far. It, unfortunately, seems that this culture is rampant in the Fox family. Hopefully, with these firings and the settlements, things will change for the better.
The women who were victimized in these sexual harassment incidents have undoubtedly retained the help of attorneys who specialize in these types of cases. If you’ve been harassed at work, and you’re in Los Angeles, contact an LA-based sexual harassment attorney to help you.