Fox News stopped featuring Andrea Tantaros after she reported harassment at the hands of the network’s former CEO, Roger Ailes, New York Magazine reported.
“She made multiple harassment and hostile-workplace complaints,” said her attorney, Judd Burstein, who called the conservative network’s response to her complaints as “retaliatory.” Tantaro, who was a co-host on The Five and Outnumbered, has not been used as an on-camera analyst since April.
Burstein said that Ailes started harassing his client in August 2014, when he asked her to do a “twirl” for him. That December, he allegedly asked Tantaros to turn around, saying, “Come over here so I can give you a hug,” a request she rejected.
Ailes then allegedly harassed her again in his office in February 2015, telling Tantaros that she must “really look good in a bikini” and asking her about her exercise routine because she “looked good.” That same month, Tantaros was reassigned from The Five to Outnumbered.
Tantaros filed a workplace harassment complaint against Ailes that April, Burnstein said, but was told by Bill Shine, the network’s executive vice-president, that she “should not fight this” because “Roger is a very powerful man.” Subsequent meetings between Tantaros and Fox general counsel Dianne Brandi and senior vice-president Suzanne Scott did not lead to any action being taken against Ailes.
Attorneys for the network said that they suspended Tantaros in April 2016 because she did not submit her most recent book for review before publishing it. Burstein said Fox lawyers said they were embarrassed by the book’s cover, which shows Tantaros tied up by the wrists.
Ailes stepped down last month following a lawsuit by former Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson and allegations by multiple women regarding his alleged behavior.
“She doesn’t have the same fear of being attacked by the Fox PR machine,” Burstein said of Tantaros. “And the Murdochs have made it clear they want to clean up the place.”