Sues Roger Ailes: Her “lawyers…say Ailes is the ‘Bill Cosby of media.'” Wow! Former Fox & Friends co-host and anchor of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Gretchen Carlson, is apparently not amused that her tenure is over: Reportedly, she is suing FNC honcho Roger Ailes for sexual harassment after her contract was not renewed.
According to the Daily Mail, Gretchen said that Ailes asked her to “turn around so he could view her posterior.” Furthermore, the NYT reported that Gretchen alleged that Ailes had eyed her in his office and called her sexy and “explicitly asked [her] in his office for a sexual relationship.”
In response, Gretchen’s former female FNC colleagues pushed back. “On the Record” anchor Greta van Susteren said that she has “‘absolutely never’ seen …Ailes act inappropriately toward women” and described Gretchen as “a very unhappy employee that lost her job” according to The Wrap. According to the same publication, hitting Gretchen even harder, “Justice with Judge Jeanine” anchor Jeanine Pirro declared, “I know know the man. I have been in a room with him. He has never said or done anything [inappropriate].”: Taking aim at her former FNC colleague, Jeanine added that the lawsuit was “absurd” and remarked, “I don’t know that she, the plaintiff [Gretchen], even has a friend in that building.” On a softer note FBN anchor Maria Bartiromo said, “It’s not in keeping with what I know, and my experience at Fox” according to Variety. Morever, The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle chimed in (according to TVNewser), “Total disbelief. I’ve known Roger Ailes for 15 years and I have been treated with the utmost professionalism and respect: He’s been a fantastic mentor in television for me.” To boot, in her HuffPo article, former Fox & Friends First co-anchor Kiran Chetry, who had a self-proclaimed “parting [that] was ugly and public,” defended Ailes, saying, “Over the years at Fox, I met with Roger Ailes one-on-one many times and never once did Roger ever make me feel uncomfortable or put forth any sexual advances.”
According to the Hollywood Report, Ailes hit back hard at Gretchen, saying:
“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, Fox News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11-year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Gretchen and her fellow femme fatale predecessor co-hosts on Fox & Friends have always been sexually empowered since the fun, flirty, racy, E. D. Hill made her debut in 1998: And, for those that embrace it, that is modern liberated feminism, women unashamed of their potent power of feminine pulchritude and seduction and are not afraid to embrace it. E.g., Gretchen seemed to tout this “new” feminism in her somewhat tempting “twerking” and awkward aping of “scandalous” Miley Cyrus on F&F. Also, naughty Fetchin’ Gretchen had her sultry take on sharing her momcave with Chris Wallace, nipple clips, and licked thighs on F&F (02/04/11). Not to mention Gretchen’s saucy flirtation with Chris Wallace when the Fox News Sunday host exclaimed, “Let me just say…I was thinking how to clean this up. Gretchen, when you were wearing that cowboy hat and smoking that cigar you looked fetching.” (In response, Gretchen, re-enacted and accentuated her sultry cowboy/cigar look for Chris to which he responded, Oh, Mama! You should take that home for your husband tonight.”) Maybe, Ailes was having fun with that vibe from Gretchen–if in fact he said what he purportedly said.
Nevertheless, a woman or a man’s employment, advancement, etc. should never be predicated on her/his employer’s reaction to their employee’s sexual power. Nor, should the employee ever be subject to his/her unwanted advances.