During the Today show's extensive coverage on Thursday of Bill O'Reilly leaving Fox News over sexual harassment allegations, the NBC morning program used the controversy to resurrect the unsubstantiated 1991 smear campaign against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. If records are any indication of the company's support, the claims don't appear to be unfounded. Women are feeling stronger, coming forward, standing up for themselves and I know that it went on for a long time.
"Thank god it's stopped now with Bill O'Reilly at Fox", Waters told host Anderson Cooper.
Fox News referred questions to parent company 21st Century Fox, which declined to comment.
Ratings for the O'Reilly-free "Factor" Wednesday night were on par with O'Reilly's recent performance in the 8 p.m. time slot, according to Nielsen data.
Women's rights activists applauded Fox's decision to fire O'Reilly.
O'Reilly's alleged predatory behavior toward women has been ongoing for many years, but what put the wheels in motion for his ousting was an April 1st article from the New York Times. O'Reilly's attorney had called the claims "outrageous". O'Reilly will not be paid the entire amount he was owed, however, because the new contract also incorporated some "outs" for the network. But day one was a very good one for Fox News. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. The outlet reported that Fox will pay O'Reilly "tens of millions of dollars". According to CNN, the contract between the two, signed in March of this year, was meant to extend until at least 2020, and a significant portion of that money was guaranteed.
His departure follows the similar ouster of longtime powerful Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who was also forced out this past summer after more than 20 women accused him of sexual harassment.