Fox News has done the right thing by showing co-president Bill Shine the door, but that doesn’t mean they have “fixed” their harassment problem.
Sexual harassment always goes beyond the behavior of individual men. For every harasser who gets away with targeting women, there are many others lurking in the background–individuals who enable and conceal their misconduct. Serial sexual and racial harassment could not exist without these complicit individuals–and Bill Shine was one of them.
Shine’s dismissal from Fox News is a victory for women who have been victims of this toxic culture of harassment, but we are troubled that it has taken the network so long to come to this decision. It has been clear from the get-go that the harassment culture at Fox News is pervasive. By choosing to remove Bill Shine now, the network has demonstrated that it is more concerned with mopping up after a PR mess than actually taking action to protect women.
NOW continues to call for a thorough, independent investigation by New York City and State authorities into the culture of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News. The network must be held accountable for its role in harming women and take real action to curb harassment. They need to ensure that both past and future victims see justice–particularly women of color, who bear the double burden of racialized sexual harassment. (Look no further than when Bill O’Reilly called a female, African-American employee “hot chocolate.”)
NOW calls on Fox News to go beyond papering over its harassment problem–by making concrete policy changes that will actually protect women. Removing Bill Shine is a positive step, but won’t be enough on its own.
M.E. Ficarra , firstname.lastname@example.org