POLITICS
04/27/2017 11:45 am ET Updated Jun 07, 2017

Fox News Host Jesse Watters Takes Abrupt Vacation After Ivanka Trump Comment

The host is taking a break after making a seemingly crude sexual joke while talking about respecting women.

Fox News host Jesse Watters is taking a break from primetime just a week after being promoted to a permanent spot on “The Five.”

Watters announced the brief family vacation on Wednesday’s episode of “The Five” after facing a torrent of criticism earlier in the day for appearing to make an oral sex joke about Ivanka Trump.

“I’m going to be taking a vacation with my family, so I’m not going to be here tomorrow,” he said, according to Business Insider. “I’ll be back on Monday, so don’t miss me too much.”

On Tuesday’s show, Watters commented on Trump’s speech at a women’s conference in Germany, where she was booed for calling her father, President Donald Trump, a “tremendous champion” for families. Watters criticized attendees for booing rather than respecting women, then made the seemingly crude comment.

“So I don’t really get what’s going on here, but, uh, I really liked how she was speaking into the microphone,” he said, making a gesture that seemed to mimic a sexual act.

Watters said later that he was complimenting Trump’s voice and denied that there was any innuendo in his comment.

He nabbed the cohosting gig on “The Five” after Bill O’Reilly lost his job hosting “The O’Reilly Factor” last week. O’Reilly is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, which sparked protests and caused advertisers to flee the show.

Watters was O’Reilly’s protege, regularly appearing on his show, and no stranger to controversy himself. Last fall, he produced a segment for “The O’Reilly Factor” that many decried as racist. He interviewed people in New York City’s Chinatown, appearing to mock themHe referenced a litany of Asian stereotypes, asking passersby if they knew karate and if he should bow to say hello.

He called the interviews “all in good fun” but later acknowledged the criticism.

Watters’ remark about Ivanka Trump comes while Fox News Channel and parent company 21st Century Fox are battling claims that sexual harassment and racial bias have been rampant behind the scenes at the network.

Roger Ailes, former Fox News chairman, left the network last year after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.

On Tuesday, 11 current and former Fox News employees filed a class action suit over alleged racial discrimination at the company.

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