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Gretchen Carlson is Suing Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for Sexual Harassment

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Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has filed a lawsuit against her Fox CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. According to her complaint, Carlson alleged that refusing Ailes' sexual advancements eventually led to the termination of her contract and career at the station.

Carlson was the host of "Fox & Friends," a morning show dedicated to discussing the latest political and world news, along with lifestyle topics. According to USA TODAY, Carlson alleges she experienced sexism from her co-host Steve Doocy during her three-year tenure as host of the show, in addition to the more severe sexual harassment she faced from Ailes. The accusations in the lawsuit are not vague in the slightest—Carlson recalls many instances in which the CEO made sexual comments towards her.

The complaint states that during a meeting to discuss the discriminatory treatment Carlson felt subjected to, Ailes told her, "I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better," NPR reports. Carlson accused Ailes of making other perverse comments, as well, such as telling her to turn around so that he could see her rear end better.

Because she refused to comply with Ailes' requests, Carlson says her career suffered and that she was not given the support that other hosts typically received. Additionally, Carlson claims she saw a decrease in pay because she complained about the atmosphere at Fox. According to her complaint, Ailes even told the former "Fox & Friends" host that she could get the airtime and assigned interviews she wanted, so long as she simply behaved the way he wanted her to and did not complain about his unwanted sexual advances.

In a statement denying the allegations, the Fox News CEO said, "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." 

However, Carlson claimed that her afternoon show, "The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson," was the leading cable news show in her time slot, according to USA Today.  

This isn't the first time Carlson has brought up inappropriate behavior in the workplace. In a 2015 essay for the Huffington Post, she chronicled some experiences she's had with sexual harassment throughout her career, although she never specifically named or accused anyone at that time. The Stanford graduate also felt as though her looks and her title as a former Miss America often caused others to overlook her intelligence.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox promised to look into the complaint. "We take these matters seriously. While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter."


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