- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 4, 2017

At least 10 companies are yanking advertisements from Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” after a report revealed host Bill O’Reilly reached financial settlements with five different women alleging sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

Hyundai, BMW of North America, Untuckit, Constant Contact, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition Allstate, T. Rowe Price, and Sanofi and GSK pharmaceutical companies are reportedly pulling commercials from the primetime news show following Mercedes-Benz’s announcement Monday that it was canceling ads in light of “disturbing” allegations against Mr. O’Reilly.

The New York Times reported Saturday that five different women who accused Mr. O’Reilly of a range of inappropriate behavior, including verbal abuse and unwanted advances, had received settlements totaling about $13 million from either Mr. O’Reilly or 21st Century Fox in lawsuits dating back to 2002. Mr. O’Reilly has denied the allegations, saying he reached the settlements in order to protect his children from public scrutiny.

Hyundai made its decision to pull advertising based on “the recent and disturbing allegations,” The Times reported Tuesday.

BMW North America said it made the decision “in light of the recent New York Times investigation.”

Untuckit, a men’s clothing marketer, told The Times that its media buyer was instructed to “reallocate our ad dollars to other shows” while it monitors the situation.

Endurance International Group, which owns Constant Contact, an online marketing company, said its decision was based on “the recent allegations and our strong commitment to inclusion, respect and tolerance in the workplace,” The Times reported.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the parent company of Rachel Ray Nutrish dog food, told CNN Tuesday that it “removed our advertising from the program because of these recent and disturbing allegations.”

And GSK told BuzzFeed News that it temporarily put a hold on ads running on “The O’Reilly Factor” while it “assesses this situation.”

Paul Rittenberg, Fox News’ executive vice president of advertising sales, said in a statement Tuesday evening that the ads had be reassigned to other shows on the network.

“We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor,” Mr. Rittenberg said. “At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”

Two of Mr. O’Reilly’s legal settlements came after Fox News’ former chairman, Roger Ailes, was ousted in July following a wave of sexual harassment allegations, which he staunchly denied.

Citing Mr. Ailes, the National Organization for Women has called for an independent investigation of the alleged “culture of sexual harassment” at Fox News and for Mr. O’Reilly to be fired.

“Mr. O’Reilly’s case is part of a larger culture that condones the harassment and objectification of women at Fox News,” Terry O’Neill, president of NOW, said in a news release Tuesday. “Men like Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Ailes will never be stopped as long as their behavior is allowed to continue, even supported, by their employer.”

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