Fox News has agreed to pay a $1 million fine levied by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights over what the commission describes as “a pattern of violating of the NYC Human Rights Law.” At issue are serious and continuing problems with the company’s workplace environments. As the Daily Beast explains it, Fox has now “effectively admitted to ongoing misconduct that includes sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation against victimized employees.” The accompanying fine is the largest amount that the New York City human rights commission has ever imposed.
Fox has agreed to pay a million-dollar fine for what New York City's Commission on Human Rights calls "a pattern of violating of the NYC Human Rights Law." https://t.co/breF4YiOwM
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 29, 2021
Alongside the fine, Fox has now agreed “to remove mandatory confidential arbitration clauses from the contracts of on-air talent along with other employees and contributors for a period of four years when they file legal claims under the city’s human-rights law outside of the company’s internal process,” as the Daily Beast explains. Clauses that demand confidential arbitration processes in the event of outside claims about workplace misconduct could obviously seriously impede the ability of victims to obtain meaningful restitution.
As for internal company affairs, Fox is now required to institute “immediate changes to policies surrounding reporting sexual harassment, retaliation, training, and compliance with the NYC Human Rights Law,” the New York City commission says. The commission has also revealed that they “will monitor the network on a quarterly basis for a period of 2 years to ensure compliance.” Labor lawyer Nancy Erika Smith, who represented former Fox host Gretchen Carlson in a lawsuit revealing serious sexual harassment problems at Fox, characterized the commission’s demands of Fox as “monumental.” As Smith put it speaking to the Daily Beast, she’s not previously “aware of any government agency requiring an employer to stop silencing victims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and that’s what NDAs and arbitration do — they silence victims.”
Revelations of sexual harassment have hung over Fox News for years. Roger Ailes, the company founder, left after his perpetration of harassment and assault was revealed. Publicly, Fox sticks these days to spreading vitriol like conspiracy theories about last year’s presidential election and delusional hysteria about progress made by non-White Americans.
During a recent episode of his primetime show, host Tucker Carlson insisted that Americans should be “meditating” on a question of how to “save this country before we become Rwanda.” He made those remarks in the context of what he called “anti-white mania,” which is for starters simply an inaccurate representation of basic, ongoing efforts to obtain accountability for the horrifying human rights abuses that have been repeatedly perpetrated by (frequently white) American leaders. Carlson appears to have been referencing the genocide that took place in Rwanda — but that’s not the only place where such a travesty has unfolded. Besides the utterly bonkers notion that America is sliding towards genocide, Carlson opted to fearmonger with references to specifically Black individuals. In other words: it’s racism.
In front of an "ANTI WHITE MANIA" graphic, Tucker Carlson says something must be done to "save this country before we become Rwanda" pic.twitter.com/Mu2QZ9X35t
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) June 25, 2021