Fox News resident male Jesse Watters who built his professional reputation, such as he is, by stalking liberals on camera, many of them female, on behalf of his predatory boss Bill O’Reilly, was given a rhetorical slap in the face. face on Thursday. for his recommendation that women solve the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace simply by slapping their male bullies.
“I would suggest that women, and I’ve gotten in trouble for saying this before, slap the man in the face. And you do it right away, ”Watters opined on Wednesday’s episode of The five during a discussion about sexual harassment and unwanted touching accusations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Because if you wait too long, the politician feels that he can keep doing this, and it doesn’t matter if he comes out a year or three years later. Do it immediately. When it’s cool. “
Several ex-Fox News women, who received monetary agreements and left the company after being attacked by stalkers on the Donald Trump-friendly channel, reacted to Watters’ injunction with withering disgust.
“The responsibility to stop bullying, primarily a men’s problem, should not fall on a woman to fix it.“
– Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News anchor
“Women across America are very pleased that Jesse Watters is explaining to them,” former Fox News political analyst Julie Roginsky told The Daily Beast, “but Jesse Watters could have watched while working for two stalkers. [late Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and O’Reilly] that women already face the risk of professional retaliation for not agreeing with the wishes of the harasser. “
Roginsky, who left Fox News in 2017 after settling a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against the company, Ailes and his deputy Bill Shine, added: “If the women turned violent towards the stalker, their career would be over. Many are subject to forced arbitration and NDA at the beginning of their jobs. They couldn’t tell their stories. Jesse’s best suggestion is to put the responsibility on his fellow men not to harass women. “
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, whose July 2016 sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes resulted in his disgraceful removal from office, agreed.
“To suggest that women should slap their abuser is to re-victimize the victim in the sense that they should fix the problem that they have nothing to do with,” Carlson told The Daily Beast. “The responsibility to stop bullying, primarily a men’s problem, should not fall on a woman to fix it. It’s similar to other excuses that women should quit their jobs or move to another department instead of looking at the real problem. It’s another reaction of covering your butt instead of working to fix the problem. “
In a tweet, she addedNot to mention how idiotic it is to assume that slapping a predator would change them in some way. And that it should be up to the woman to slap rather than predator not to harass. “
In an emailed response to The Daily Beast, Watters said he had been misunderstood: “This type of predatory behavior must stop immediately and it is 100% the responsibility of the stalker to stop it. My intention was to defend the victims and hold the inappropriate politicians accountable; any suggestion to the contrary is a misinterpretation of what I said. “
Other women who spoke to The Daily Beast about Watters’ comment, several of whom signed nondisclosure agreements as part of lawsuit cash settlements, asked to remain anonymous to avoid possible retaliation from Fox News Media or their company. parent Fox Corp.
“It’s simple to say ‘just slap her,’ and while that might generate short-term applause for the woman, it would almost inevitably doom her professional career, especially in broadcasting,” said a former Fox personality on the air. “If all the Fox men who made inappropriate comments were slapped at that point, there would be a lot of red-faced men walking the net. And sadly, women would never be allowed to see past the security check again. “
This woman added: “It is strange to see Fox take such an aggressive stance towards Governor Cuomo, asking him to resign. This, as Fox continues to air various hosts and collaborators who have been shown to do the same, if not worse, as the allegations against Cuomo. “
A second woman cited the 42-year-old Watters’ reported history of divorcing his then-wife Noelle in March 2019 after having an extramarital affair with his 26-year-old associate producer, now-wife Emma DiGiovine. The officiant at their December 2019 wedding was then-Fox News host Ed Henry, who was fired last year when a Fox Business producer filed a graphic lawsuit accusing Henry of sexual abuse.
“A man [Jesse Watters] Whoever had an affair with a much younger woman at work really has no place to tell women how they should react professionally when they are abused at work, ”said this person. “Violence is not an answer. It’s usually the one thing women fear the most when their abusers are much bigger, heavier, and stronger than they are. “
Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who has represented several Fox News accusers, told The Daily Beast: “It is a classic rape myth that women must somehow use their physical power to protect themselves from men who attack them, when the reality is that most women panic and freeze when sexually abused. “
Wednesday night was not the first time that Watters has drawn widespread criticism for filthy comments about women. In April 2017, the Fox host gave some not-so-subtle sexual innuendo about Ivanka Trump, commenting on a video of her speaking at a women’s rights conference: “I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone,” while gesturing towards her mouth. and smiling. The next day, Watters denied the sexual background before announcing an abrupt “family vacation.”
Meanwhile, a former Fox News staff member said: “I would buy tickets to see Jesse Watters slap his former boss Bill O’Reilly. What do you say, presenter? Are you hiding under your desk? Bill always used to say ‘what do you say?’ and ‘are you hiding under your desk?’ when the guests didn’t come after his on-air challenge to face him. Jesse Watters hasn’t had the moral fortitude to support any of Fox News’ brave women, all of whom lost their jobs after being sexually harassed where he currently works. “
This woman added: “Now, in an incredible twist, he envisions himself as the arbiter of sexual harassment. Only on Fox News could it be so wicked. But what else can we expect when Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch reduced the cover-up of sexual harassment for decades as nothing more than a ‘little flirtation.’
Diana Falzone was a digital and on-camera reporter for FoxNews.com from 2012 to 2018. In May 2017, she filed a gender and disability discrimination lawsuit against the network and settled, and left the company in March 2018. Along with Roginsky and Carlson, she co-founded Lift Our Voices, a nonprofit organization that seeks to eradicate NDAs in the workplace that are used to hide toxic behaviors in the workplace.