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Another Fox News Host Has Been Suspended at America’s #1 Network for Sexual Harassment

Maybe—just maybe–when many people are acting a certain way at your place of work, the problem is coming from inside the house.

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Per Variety, Fox News has ordered the suspension (not yet firing, because dude, we’re investigating, give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe people were just asking to be sexually harassed, Jesus, it’s like no one can take a little light sexual harassment these days, it’s nothing like what I was promised growing up as a mediocre man) of “Cashin’ In” anchor Eric Bolling. My favorite fact about Eric Bolling is that he wrote a book called The Swamp: Washington’s Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It, because of course he did. Now he’s accused of sending lewd pictures to female colleagues.

Fox News Channel suspended Eric Bolling, a host and contributor whose on-air presence at the 21st Century Fox-owned network had been growing in recent months, after allegations surfaced that he had harassed colleagues at the cable-news network. He is the latest in a number of Fox News personnel to have become embroiled in controversy.

You may recall that just recently we saw the ouster of the late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for the same behavior, and the departure of former Fox golden boy Bill O’Reilly for—wait, wait, I’ll let you guess—yep, it was sexual harassment, or rather, the disclosure of the various settlements paid to cover up O’Reilly’s sexual harassing at the network over the years. Variety adds:

Co-president Bill Shine, who had been accused in sundry lawsuits of not taking harassment accusations seriously, left the network in May.

And therein lies the rub. When there is the issue of repeated sexual harassment in a workplace, it does not happen independently of that workplace. It’s also the product of an environment that condones such behavior, or at the least, does not take steps to prevent or punish it until forced to do so by international media outcry and stacks of expensive lawsuits. I think that it would surprise precisely no one if the internal mechanisms at Fox News long functioned like a “good ol’ boys” club where this sort of activity was met with a wolf-whistle rather than swift and sharp condemnation.

When the Co-President can’t be bothered to take accusations “seriously” and the CEO and network stars were part of the problem, what do you expect? What kind of message does that send to the network’s employees? I’ll tell you: it suggested, for decades, that not only would sexual harassment not have consequences, but that it was, perhaps, a type of behavior that was rewarded with positions of power and influence. What a way to get ahead.

It’s horribly disappointing, but not surprising, that this sort of tacit approval of harassment exists. After all, Donald Trump admitted to going even further—grabbing women by their genitalia—and he still got elected to the Presidency.

Variety reports that Fox News is attempting to drain their own problematic swamp by promoting more female executives and expanding their HR outreach efforts—initiatives that are promising but also provoked me to say “Well, la-di-freakin-da,” out loud. Many more women should have been in senior roles, and human resources should already have been robust, at a channel that is more than twenty years old and lost many millions of dollars in settlements over discriminatory and harassing behavior.

Has anything drastically changed at Fox News in the wake of Ailes and O’Reilly’s departures? All we know is that now, some actions may have consequences. Pending investigation.

[UPDATE] I just heard from a Fox News spokesperson: “Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway.” I’m pretty sure that ground was covered herein but there you go.

(via Variety, image: Screenshot)

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.