Ronan Farrow apologizes for comments on Fox's internal handling of sexual misconduct

Ronan Farrow apologizes for comments on Fox's internal handling of sexual misconduct
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Journalist Ronan Farrow on Wednesday apologized for the way he characterized Fox News' internal investigation of sexual misconduct allegations after four female ex-contributors to the network took issue with his remarks, according to CNN Business.

Farrow, appearing on Fox News last week to discuss his book “Catch and Kill,” said the network “has done a great job of confronting” allegations of sexual harassment. He contrasted the network with NBC, which has largely left its leadership team in place despite damning reporting by Farrow on the network’s internal culture.

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In a letter Wednesday morning, Juliet Huddy, Julie Roginsky and Tamara Holder, all of whom have settled sexual harassment claims with 21st Century Fox, the network's parent company at the time, and Diana Falzone, who settled a gender discrimination claim with the parent company, pushed back on Farrow’s comments.

“While we appreciate the work you have done to expose and explore sexual assault, harassment and retaliation in the news and entertainment industries, we are curious as to the basis of your effusive praise of Fox News for its response to the revelations by women who described the toxic work environment they faced,” they wrote.

In the letter, the four women note that their non-disclosure agreements prevented them from talking to Farrow and that numerous women who have settled such claims are also restricted by no-rehire provisions.

“Shouldn’t you be publicly calling for these companies to waive such provisions before reporting that progress is being made? Shouldn't you be investigating why women who had flourishing careers at major networks before speaking up about harassment, assault or retaliation now find themselves unable to work in the industry again?” they wrote.

"Let me be clear: I in no way intended to suggest that networks like Fox have fully addressed these issues," Farrow told CNN. "One of the lessons of the past few years is that there's still a long way to go. I've heard what these women have said and join with them in the hopes that people in power are listening…. I'm sorry if my comments implied anything else — it certainly wasn't my intention.”

Farrow told the four in a private email that his remark "was meant to call out those problems, and the mention of steps taken to confront them was offered in the context of a discussion of other media companies' refusal to make leadership changes,” according to CNN.

Fox forced out founder Roger Ailes in 2016 and former top-rated host Bill O’Reilly in 2017 amid widespread allegations of sexual harassment against both men. 

In a statement to The Hill, Fox said that since Ailes' departure, it has "worked tirelessly to completely change the company culture."

"Over the past three years, we have created an entirely new reporting structure, more than tripled the size of our HR footprint, instituted mandatory in-person sexual harassment training, started quarterly company meetings and mentoring events as well as implemented a zero tolerance policy regarding workplace misconduct for which we engage outside independent firms to handle investigations," the network added. "No other company has implemented such a comprehensive and continuous overhaul."