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How Should We Feel About Roger Ailes Stepping Down?

By Emily Cutler | Industry | July 22, 2016 |

By Emily Cutler | Industry | July 22, 2016 |

Roughly two weeks after Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Rogers Ailes for being the grossest person ever, he’s finally stepped down from his position.

Which calls for a celebratory gif party, yes?





This is a good thing, right? One woman stood up to an incredibly powerful man, and she succeeded. Even in the bastion of backward, outdated beliefs, sexual harassment wasn’t allowed to stand. Not only were Carlson’s accusations taken seriously, but Fox News never even pretended to stand by Ailes. This was a resounding victory. Right?

I was pretty sure that was the case. Until voice of reason Dustin Rowles pointed out a significant flaw in my thinking.

“The man got away with sexually harassing women for forty years and he was allowed to negotiate his resignation, and probably left with a severance package bigger than a small nation’s GNP. Not much to celebrate, except that a 76-year-old man will have to move on to propositioning his housekeepers.”

Goddamnit, boss, you really gotta adult so hard all the time? And of course he’s right. Women have come forward with horror stories about just how badly Ailes had been abusing employees and potential employees for decades. And now this feels like another Cosby case. Yes, it’s good he’s finally been exposed as the horrific asshole he truly is, but it’s still a goddamn shame it took so long for it to happen.

For now I’m going to take a small measure of comfort in the fact that Ailes has been publicly shamed and abandoned. And that he’ll have less influence tomorrow than he did yesterday. And that even if progress is a son of a bitch who moves too slowly most of the time, it’s always there. Let’s hope we do better next time.

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