Dear Mr Rupert Murdoch
I am the woman who was a guest on Fox news and was sexually harassed by your employee, Mr. Bill O’Reilly in 2013. You may be aware that my attorney, Lisa Bloom, and I have spent a few days in London speaking with members of the British media and giving testimony to OfCom regarding your takeover of Sky TV. You may be wondering why I doing this. I am not after money and I have no legal claim.
The truth is I’m a big girl. I can survive an episode of sexual harassment. And even though I’m a single mother and have no trust fund, I am confident I can continue to make enough money to take care of my children in this world without the help of Fox News. But what I don’t like is the systematic way your company has silenced female employees with non-disclosure agreements, further injured victims of sexual harassment by removing them from their jobs and, in many cases, completely derailed their careers. All the while, you kept the men who victimized them and all their accomplices in their jobs. I believe that your corporate culture felt that paying tens of millions of dollars to victimized women was just the cost of doing business.
At the same time I watched your network going after high ratings by sexualizing your news presenters with hair, make-up and wardrobe that rival street walkers. Many of those competent employees are highly educated women with advanced degrees. In doing so, you led an entire industry in competing with you for news viewers to create harmful role models for our daughters. This is why I continue to speak out. I don’t want to see the Foxification of Sky, nor anymore waves of your hand telling the BBC that “Nothing is going on at Fox.”
The last time you nearly took over Sky and were stopped by the famous phone hacking scandal, you reacted in a very different manner. You shut down the newspaper responsible for the crimes (though you soon after replaced it with a the Sun) and you took full page ads out in newspapers, apologizing to the British people and the victims.
But this time there is a clear under-reaction, just a little bit of last minute housecleaning in the week’s before OfCom’s recommendation and no restitution to the victims of your sexist corporate system.
Mr. Murdoch, this is the time to be on the right side of history when it comes to women’s rights. Here’s how you could do this:
- Unmuzzle the victims. Give them back their voices.
- Give them back their jobs if they want them.
- Take out a full page ad in the New York Times apologizing to women everywhere.
- Finally, respond to this letter by allowing me to interview you in a televised interview.
You’ve made enough money with our faces, bodies and images. It’s time to treat us the competent employees that we are, not office sex toys.
Dr. Wendy Walsh