Mercedes-Benz pulling ads from 'The O'Reilly Factor'

Mercedes-Benz pulling ads from 'The O'Reilly Factor'
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Mercedes-Benz will no longer advertise on "The O'Reilly Factor," following a Saturday New York Times report that host Bill O'Reilly paid $13 million to five women who accused him over the years of sexual harassment. 

"We had advertising running on The O'Reilly Factor (we run on most major cable news shows) but it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy," a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told BuzzFeed. "The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don't feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now."

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O'Reilly, who has been the top-rated host in cable news for 15 consecutive years, was the subject of a front-page New York Times article this weekend that detailed sexual harassment claims by five women that resulted in $13 million in payouts from the network and O'Reilly.

O'Reilly's lawyer, Fredric S. Newman, in a statement to the Times suggested O’Reilly might take legal action against some people bringing claims against him, stating: “We are now seriously considering legal action to defend Mr. O’Reilly’s reputation.”

The 67-year-old host has reportedly hired noted crisis communications expert Mark Fabiani, who once served as special counsel and legal spokesperson for President Clinton and his administration from 1994 to 1996. 

O’Reilly said in a weekend statement that being a well-known public figure makes him vulnerable to lawsuits and the settlements were made “to put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”

“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” the statement read. “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.

“But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children."

O'Reilly has two teenage children. 

The Hill obtained a memo on Monday evening from Fox News Executive Vice President of Human Resources Kevin Lord urging employees to bring "any concerns about behavior" in the workplace forward to him, Fox's general council Dianne Brandi, 21st Century Fox's Chief Compliance Officer Gerson Zweifach, or Michele Hirshman of Paul Weiss, an outside firm brought on by 21st Century Fox last summer after sexual harassment claims surfaced against former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.  

The memo reads: 

Hi Everyone,  

As many of you know from participating in our newly expanded HR training. I am the new Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Fox News. Participating in light of some of the accounts published over the last few days, I wanted to re-emphasize the message we have been conveying at our training sessions for several months. If any employee has any concerns about behavior in our workplace, I urge you to raise those concerns with me, or with our General Counsel Dianne Brandi, or with 21CF's Chief Compliance Officer Gerson Zweifach, or directly with Michele Hirshman of the Paul Weiss law firm, who has been working with 21CF since this summer. We want to give you every opportunity to be heard through a vehicle of your choice, so that we can attempt to address your concerns promptly and confidentially. Our contact info is below. 

Thanks, 

Kevin